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Eldon Lawrence Kyle

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West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Eldon Lawrence Kyle
1923-1944

"In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill."

Winston Churchill

Eldon Lawrence Kyle was the first child born to Boyd Weese Kyle and Irene May Taylor Kyle. Boyd and Irene were married in Randolph County, West Virginia on November 13, 1921. Boyd worked at the local tannery in Elkins, West Virginia. Their six children were Eldon Lawrence, Thelma Louise (Mrs. Herbert R. Brannon), Wilma Lee (Helmick, Carver), Boyd Jr., Homer Dale, and Ronald Keith.

Eldon was born in Randolph County on May 9, 1923. He was a Baptist and attended Elkins High School. Eldon’s father died at the age of 55 of coronary insufficiency on February 10, 1958. Eldon’s mother, Irene, remarried on June 6, 1970, to Forest E. White. She died on February 1, 1992, and was interred next to Boyd in Elkins Memorial Gardens in Randolph County.

Eldon Lawrence Kyle enlisted in U.S. Army at Clarksburg, West Virginia, on January 16, 1943. World War II Draft and Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, show that he was 68 inches tall and weighed 138 pounds. He was single with dependents and was employed as a farmer. Private Kyle was assigned to Company C of the 134th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 35th Infantry Division, known as the “Santa Fe Division.” During World War I, the 35th Division participated in the Meuse-Argonne, Alsace 1918, and Lorraine 1918 campaigns. Campaigns for the Division during World War II included Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe.

During January 1943, Private Kyle was stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. In March 1943, the Santa Fe Division was sent to Fort Rucker, Alabama, for retraining, followed by Second Army maneuvers in Tennessee from November 1943 to January 1944. At the conclusion of that training, the Division emerged a hardened, disciplined outfit with a record on maneuvers enjoyed by few other organizations. In January 1944, while in Camp Butner, North Carolina, the 134th Combat Team was ordered to West Virginia for maneuvers to gain experience in mountain warfare.

On May 1, 1944, the Division was staged at Ft. Kilmer, New Jersey, for embarkation to Europe. They set sail from New York on May 12, 1944. After a brief stay in England, they landed on July 5 through 7 at Omaha Beach in Normandy and entered combat on July 11. By July 18 they had driven the German forces from Saint-Lô. On September 15, the division had crossed the Moselle River and had recaptured the town of Nancy from the Germans. While the 35th Division continued to repel the German forces, now-Sergeant Eldon Lawrence Kyle was killed on September 19, 1944. His body was returned to the United States in 1948, and he was buried in Elkins Memorial Gardens/IOOF Cemetery next to his mother and father.
Grave marker

Grave marker for Sgt. Eldon Lawrence Kyle. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

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Sgt. Eldon Lawrence Kyle was given the following awards: the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Purple Heart, the World War II Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and two battle stars.
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Article prepared by Leon Armentrout
July 2016

Honor...

Eldon Lawrence Kyle

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


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