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Donald E. Addison

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Donald E. Addison
1923-1944

Pvt. Donald E. Addison was born in 1923 (possibly 1924), the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Addison, who lived in McDowell, West Virginia. If the “B. W. Addison” listed in Donald’s obituary in the Bluefield (WV) Daily Telegraph on January 25, 1945, is the “Beecher Addison” of McDowell County, West Virginia, as counted in the 1930 Federal Census, then the family lived on Brown’s Creek, near Welch. Donald’s mother’s name was Sue, and, at that time, there were three younger children in the family: Virginia D., Billie R. and Carl V.

Donald was married to Thelma Dillon, also of McDowell, who later moved to Boissevain, Virginia. Little else can be determined about Donald’s early life, but it appears that after attending three years of high school, he entered the mining profession, as his World War II U.S. Army Enlistment Record states his civil occupation to be “semiskilled miners, and mining-machine operators.” Given the community in which he lived, it appears likely that he followed in the footsteps of his father.

Pvt. Addison entered military service by enlisting at Huntington, West Virginia, on June 22, 1943. He received his training at Camp Croft, South Carolina, following which he entered the paratroopers and received his wings at Fort Benning, Georgia. Addison was assigned to the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and went overseas in January 1944.

Pvt. Addison was killed in action on December 23, 1944, in Belgium. The date and place of his death, along with his place of burial, would indicate his involvement in the Battle of the Bulge. (More on the Battle of the Bulge can be found at http://www.army.mil/botb/ or http://worldwar2history.info/Bulge/. A detailed account of this military campaign is Hugh M. Cole’s online book The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge [http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_cont.htm].)

Pvt. Donald E. Addison is buried at the American Cemetery Henri-Chapelle in Belgium. For his service he received the Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
American Cemetery Henri-Chapelle
American Cemetery Henri-Chapelle,
Belgium. Courtesy American Battle
Monuments Commission

Article by Patricia Richards McClure

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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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