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Lawrence E. Perry

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


Lawrence E. Perry

"Lawrence was one of our real men, one we all liked"

Lawrence E. "Barney" Perry, was born in Minden, West Virginia on June 7, 1921, the son of Carl and Beatrice Watkins Perry. Beatrice later married Leslie Bryant, who raised Lawrence. Young
Lawrence Perry
Perry in the CCC
CCC Days
In 1937, when Lawrence was 16, he entered the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), where he was assigned duty as a water pump guard at the camp in Clifftop, West Virginia, near Babcock State Park. After serving in the CCC for six months, Lawrence left the Corps to join ranks with the men and women of the United States Army.
Entering into the army as a private, Lawrence Perry was assigned to Troop "A" of the 81st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized Unit, 1st Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Private Perry saw combat action in Algeria-French Morocco and Tunisia. Perry was wounded by German gunfire in July of 1944, for which he received the Order of the Purple Heart. After his recovery he returned to active duty with his company. After the liberation of North Africa, he was deployed with his unit to Italy where he fought to take the cities of Naples and Foggia, Anzio and the Rome-Arno river regions, up through the northern Apennines mountains into the Po Valley. Half track
with his Italian
Perry and girlfriend
While fighting in Italy, Perry was reunited with his cousin, Private William C. "Nealy" Mills, who also served with him in the CCC. Mills, who survived the war, wrote that he and Perry would travel to Naples on furlough for some fun on their time off. It was in Naples that Private Perry found the love of his life, a local girl whose name is not known. He and the girl were engaged to be married after the war.
Lawrence Perry died of wounds inflicted by a German 75 mm cannon in the Po Valley region of Italy on April 25th, 1945, just four days before the Axis surrender of Italy and the end of hostilities. Perry
with Navy friend
Perry with Navy friend
Lieutenant Frank D.
Lieutenant Frank D. Ely
Lieutenant Frank D. Ely, a close friend of Private Perry, wrote his mother to relay his condolences and to inform her of the circumstances of her son's death. "A Kraut anti-tank company" he wrote, "had moved onto the road after dark and set up a gun to cover the withdrawal of their outfit. Lawrence was the driver of the lead vehicle in the convoy which consisted of two halftracks and two jeeps. They were fired on from a 100 yard range. Eight of them were killed and five badly wounded. Lawrence was one of those killed. His was a quick death for the shell went through him. The next morning that Kraut company was captured." Private Perry was temporarily buried in Italy, but his body was returned to the United States in November 1948, to rest in the Highlawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill.
Lawrence "Barney" Perry was a man just like all the other men who fought for their country in the Second World War-he knew what had to be done and he did it without complaint or hope for reward. He was a proud American, a noble serviceman, and now and forever more, an honored West Virginian. Bea, Barney, Mildred and
Bea, Barney (right), Mildred (sister) and Leslie (brother)


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