Army Private Clifford Adkins was born at Ranger, Logan County, West Virginia, on June 4, 1920, to Leander (known to his family as “Duty”; b. 1882, d. 1942) and Ellen Adkins (b. 1880, d. 1945). (Leander was the son of Oliver and Jane Adkins; Ellen was the daughter of Christene Sanford and Preston Walls.) Clifford was one of nine children born to the marriage of Leander and Ellen; his siblings included Lula, Pearl, Bessie, Garnet, and Ida and brothers Clyde, Elba, and Hubert. (It is possible that Bessie did not live to adulthood, as she appears in the 1910 Federal Census, but not in the 1930 Census nor in the obituaries of Leander and Ellen.)
Although the Adkins family hailed from Lincoln County, Clifford grew up in Logan County and was educated in the Logan County school system at Crites. (The 1930 Federal Census shows the family living at Triadelphia, Logan County.) U.S. Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, state that he entered the service at Huntington on October 8, 1943. At that time, Clifford registered that he had a grammar school education and was a farm hand in civilian life. He also indicated he was single, with dependents, and this was most likely his mother, who by that time was a widow.
Assigned to the 175th Infantry, 29th Division, Pvt. Adkins was trained at Camp Blanding, Florida, and then deployed to Europe. According to his obituary, the last word received from him was a letter dated November 1, 1944. A War Department message to his mother stated he was killed in action in Germany on November 21. In 1949, Pvt. Clifford Adkins’ remains were returned to the States, where he was interred on June 5 in Goldsbury Cemetery in Sias, Lincoln County. Services were conducted by Collins Knob Church and American Legion Post 111 in Hamlin, West Virginia. (Source: Angela Adkins, “Clifford Adkins,” Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=23783230 [accessed January 2, 2012].)
Article by Patricia Richards McClure,, who gratefully acknowledges James J. Adkins, Evy Linville, and Myrtle Wheeler for helping track down the “right” Clifford Adkins and Angela Adkins and Glenda Adkins for their Find A Grave postings.
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. For more information contact Constance Baston at (304) 558-0230.
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