“The Sergeant York of WWII”

Allied invasion plans and German positions in Normandy
Allied invasion plans and German positions in Normandy

Jack Oliver is a Certified Public Accountant with Oliver and Associates from Fairmont, West Virginia who became actively involved in filing a petition on Harrison Summers’ behalf for a Medal of Honor. He spoke to us about Sergeant Harrison Summers and we would like to share some of the story with you.
Sergeant Summers is awarded D.S.C old newspaper clipping Harrison was born in Catawba near Rivesville. Around 1937, after attending East Fairmont High School, Mr. Summers served a tour where he had been stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii before re-enlisting in 1942 for WWII. Jack told us the reason he reenlisted was so that he could train to be a paratrooper; otherwise, he would return to the same duty he left. Once he was trained, he immediately began instructing at the paratrooper school in Ft. Benning, Georgia. Eventually, Mr. Summers received his assignment for Europe and was placed with the 101st Airborne Division (of the First Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment). They were stationed in England preparing to invade German-occupied Normandy.
On June 6, 2:30am (D-Day), Thousands of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne and the 101st Airborne were lifted into France. As the assault force approached the coast, it encountered fog and antiaircraft fire, which forced some of the planes to break formation. Paratroopers from both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions missed their landing zones and were scattered over wide areas. For many, the initial struggle of combat was to find their units and approximately 1500 soldiers from the division were killed or captured. Flight commanders gave orders to jump at the wrong time causing some of the paratroopers to come down in the deep waters fatally injuring them. Harrison Summers was spared by a mishap. When his flight commander gave the order for the paratroopers to jump, the cargo that was to go first got lodged in the cargo door. Minutes went by before they got the bundle out. That offset the commander’s error just enough to place Summers in the proper destination to begin the scheduled raid.
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The Paper Clip

Paperclip Author LTC Richard Aamot speaking about his life as a boy in Norway during WWII.
Paperclip Author LTC Richard Aamot speaking about his life as a boy in Norway during WWII.
Olva and Gunhild Crone-Aamot had their only son, Olav, while living in Manhattan, New York, in January 22, 1929. They moved to Norway in 1936. His father was a metallurgical research engineer employed by Guggenheim Brothers. The family came to the United States in 1922, moved back to Norway in 1936 and settled in Ramstad, Baerum, now part of Oslo.

“The Paperclip”, is a book written by Olav Richard Crone-Aamot that is about his experience as a young boy living in Norway while being Nazi occupied. “Oba” became obsessed with making trouble for the Germans who overpowered Rauoey Island when his father was an artillery gunner for the defenders and became captured and imprisoned by the Germans. Nazis enforced laws upon residents that were entrenching and overbearing. They would force their way through their homes to make sure residents were cooperating. Continue reading “The Paper Clip”

May This Keep You Safe from Harm

Asa Davison with a Fairmont Student, Jeremiah.

It wasn’t until 1947 when Asa Davison returned home, he finished his education. In 1943, he left Dunbar High School in Fairmont to join the Army as part of the infantry. He completed basic training in Alabama and then boarded a ship for active duty to the South Pacific. All the white soldiers were on the upper deck of the ship and all the black soldiers were on lower deck. “We didn’t know they were up there and they didn’t know we were down there,” Davison explained. Continue reading “May This Keep You Safe from Harm”

Young Hearts

Curtis C-46 "Commando" in flight

In the early 40s, George Eltin Morris, at 18, had already tried a semester of college, left home and hitchhiked to Florida with a buddy for a while and worked in a factory. He, with three other high school basketball teammates decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps in 1942. Since George was intelligent in mechanical and mathematical skills, this would lead him to assignment as crew chief on C-46 and C-47 transport planes which were used for dropping troops and supplies to American and Allied forces in Europe.

This also led to an opportunity for him to continue to play basketball for the 313th Troop Carrier Squadron of the Ninth Air Force. In 1943, while still stationed in the United States, his team won seventy of seventy-one games. In Sicily, 1944, his team only lost one game and won the inter-service (Army-Navy) tournament.
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USS Quincy (CA-39)

USS Quincy CA-39
Charles Finley Carpenter was born in Wetzel County WV and moved to Fairview, Marion county as very young child. He graduated at Fairview High School in 1938. Charles (nicknamed “Chuck”) joined the navy in 1938. He was a machinist and petty officer on the USS Quincy CA-39 when the battleship was sunk by the Japanese in the battle of Savo Island off Gaudal Canal on August 8, 1942. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.
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