James Junior George
|James Junior George was born in Belington on October 15, 1925. He was the son of James E. George and Maggie Fitzwater George of Belington. Junior had four sisters: Lorena (Mrs. Samuel W. Sinsel), Betty ( Mrs. Bretsel Everson), Mary Ann (died at the age of one year), and Juanita ( Mrs. Franklin R. Kyle); and three brothers: Robert A. George, Charles George, and Joseph George. Robert served in the Ninth Air Force and completed two years of foreign duty.|
|Junior attended public schools in Barbour County and later joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).|
|In January 1944, he entered the Army and received Basic Training at Camp Clairborne in Louisiana and Camp White in Oregon. He left for overseas duty in July of that same year. For a time, Junior George served with the 1390th Forestry Engineer Battalion in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany, but he was later transferred to the 13th Infantry Division.|
|While serving in Germany, Junior sent Christmas cards to his family back home in West Virginia and wrote letters to his sister Lorena. In one letter, written on his birthday, he described a cake that his company had made him. Lorena attempted to write back to her brother on several occasions, but the letters were returned. His mother requested information concerning his location, and received a letter dated July 26, 1945 from Major General Edward F. Witsell informing her that Junior was being evacuated to the United States.|
|Juniorís father worked in the mines with a man who also had a son serving in Germany. This young soldier, who was stationed at the same location as Junior, wrote his father and informed him that Junior George had been killed in action. The Army had misidentified the soldiers, leading to the erroneous information sent to Juniorís mother.|
The George family later received an official letter from the United States War Department:
ďIt is with regret that I am writing to confirm the death of your son, Pvt. James J. George who was killed in action April 6, 1945, near Schelden, Germany. At the time your son was transferred to his last organization he reported with the service record of another person. Consequently, when he became missing in action on April 6, 1945 the casualty report listed another person and as a result you were not notified that your son missing in action. However the person who was erroneously reported missing in action is now back in the United States.
"Your sonís remains have been recovered, identified and reverently interred in a United States Military Cemetery. Junior George was buried at: Netherlands American Cemetery. Location: Margraten, Netherlands, Plot: F Row: 5, Grave: 22.Ē
The family received Juniorís Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and an American flag with 48 stars from Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson.
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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