Military

S/Sgt. Tabron bosses a surveying crew.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 24 May 1941.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 700 East Vance Street, rented for $16/month, barber Henry Tabron, 37; wife Mattie B., 39, laundress; and children William, 15, shoe shop laborer, Edmonia, 14, Bill S., 11, Berkly, 9, and Donald, 7.

S/Sgt. Olin B. Tabron, 24, son of Henry Tabron and Mattie Smith Tabron, married Lovie Dancy, 24, daughter of Johnnie Dancy and Pennie Mills Dancy, on 24 December 1945 in Wilson in the presence of T.R. Uzzell, Elma Brodie and Pennie E. Nancy.

In 1945, Olin Berkley Tabron filled a World War II draft registration card (though he had already enlisted.) Per his card, he was born 1 January 1921 [actually, December 1920] in Edgecombe County, North Carolina; his nearest relative was sister Elma Broady, 909 Green Street, Wilson; and his discharge date was 8 November 1945.

Olin Berkley “Bert” Tabron died 21 June 2004.

 

 

Nominated to West Point.

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In 1883, Congressman James E. O’Hara of North Carolina’s Second District nominated Daniel Cato Sugg of Wilson to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1884. However, Suggs, a student at Lincoln University, failed the entrance examinations in arithmetic, geography and history. In fact, the only African-American to gain entry to West Point that year was Charles Young.

U.S. Military and Naval Academies, Cadet Records and Applications, 1800-1908 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; Brian Shellum, Black Cadet in a White Bastion: Charles Young at West Point (2006), page 36.

Studio shots, no. 70: Sgt. Benjamin A. Harris Sr.

Sgt. Benjamin A. Harris, World War II.

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In the 1900 census of Fremont township, Wayne County: day laborer Ed Harries, 27; wife Bettie, 25; and children Benjamin A., 5, Roday, 4, and John H., 5 months.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Ed Harriss, 37; wife Bettie, 34; and children Benjamin, 15, Rhoda, 14, Johney, 10, Nannie, 9, Nicie and Vicie, 7, Edgar, 4, and Oscar and Roscar, 1.

Benjamin Amos Harris registered for the World War I draft in Eureka precinct, Wayne County, in 1917.

In the 1920 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: on Stantonsburg Road, farmer Benjamin Harris, 25, and siblings Rhodie, 22, John, 20, Nanie, 18, Vicie and Nicie, 16, Edgar, 14, Oscar and Rosca, 11, Leland, 9, and Hamilton B., 7.

On 14 March 1922, Benjaman A. Harris, 25, of Nahunta, son of Ed and Bettie Harris, married Pauline Artis, 20, of Nahunta, daughter of Wash [sic; Noah] and Patience Artis, in Eureka, Nahunta township, Wayne County.

In the mid-1920s, Benjamin and Pauline Artis Harris moved ten miles north to Wilson.

In the 1925 Wilson city directory: Harris Benj bricklyr h 407 Viola.

Harris, in partnership with George Best, opened a grocery store near the city limits on East Nash Street. In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Harris Benj A (c; Pauline) (Harris & Best) r Finch; Harris & Best (c) (B A Harris and Geo Best) gros 1316 E Nash

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Harris Benj (c; Pauline) brklyr h 312 Finch

The family was missed in the 1930 and 1940 censuses of Wilson, Wilson County.

In 1940, when Harry Bryant Harris registered for the World War II draft in Wilson, he listed his eldest brother Ben Amos Harris as his contact and employer.

Benjamin Amos Harris died 15 May 1955 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 October 1894 to Edward Harris and Betty Daniel; lived at 312 Finch Street, Wilson; worked as a bricklayer; and was a World War I veteran. Six days later, his widow applied for a military grave marker:

Photo of Benjamin A. Harris Sr. courtesy of Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service, a booklet commemorating the 100th anniversary of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Wilson; image of draft card at U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

First Lieutenant Ruth C. Speight Russell, Tuskegee Army Nurse.

In the spring of 1942, seventeen African-American registered nurses reported to the station hospital at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama to provide care for the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Ruth C. Speight, born in Wilson County, reared in Greene County, and educated at Saint Agnes Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, was among them.

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Undated issue of Pittsburgh Courier, probably early 1942.

This bio of Ruth C. Speight appears in the website of the Tuskegee Army Nurses Project:

Captioned “Nurses Abbie Voorhies (Ross), Ruth Speight, Della Rainey (in cockpit) and Mencie Trotter during their flight orientation, a special part of their important duties at Tuskegee Army Air Field. U.S. Air Force Museum,” this photograph appears in Charlie and Ann Cooper’s Tuskegee’s Heroes (1996).

Pittsburgh Courier, 8 July 1944.

Ruth Speight Russell died 14 December 2016 in Albany, New York, at the age of 98. This simple obituary gives no hint of her extraordinary life.

 

Studio shots, no. 69: Dempsey L. Henderson.

A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, Dempsey Lee Henderson received a three-star Pacific Theater Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, Victory Medal, Purple Heart, and one-star Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

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Dempsey L. Henderson was born on or about 31 December 1927 in Wilson to Lena B. McNair and Jesse “Jack” Henderson.

In the 1940 census of Washington, District of Columbia: at 335 Elm Street, Lena Henderson, maid, 30; son Dempsey Henderson, 12; mother Mary McNary, 53; and lodger John Pendleton, 29, transfer merchant truck driver.

In 1943, Henderson registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C.

This 1944 muster roll shows that Henderson was aboard the U.S.S. Abner Read, a Fletcher-class destroyer, in September of that year.

Dempsey L. Henderson died 2003, and was buried at Quantico National Cemetery.

Photo of Dempsey Henderson in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson; Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 1940-1947, digitized at www.fold3.com; Muster rolls of U.S. Navy ships, stations, and other naval activities, 1939-1949, digitized at www.fold3.com.

Applications for military headstones, no. 2.

  • Admire Zimmerman

In the 1900 census of Philadelphia, Darlington County, South Carolina: farmer Ceasar Zimmerman, 28; wife Irene, 23; and children Leila, 7, Admire, 3, Lillie A., 1, and George, 2 months.

In the 1910 census of Lamar, Darlington County, South Carolina: farmer Cesare Zimmerman, 38; wife Rena, 33; and children Leila, 17, Admire, 12, Lily, 11, Shepherd, 9, Eulis, 7, Charlie, 6, Caesar, 4, Grant, 2, and N. Efether, 11 months.

On 1 July 1920, Sheppard Zimmerman, 22, of Wilson, son of Caesar and Irene Zimmerman, married Florence Howard, 18, of Taylor township, daughter of Deal and Nancy Howard. Admire Zimmerman applied for the license, and a justice of the peace performed the ceremony at Wilson County Court House in the presence of David Woodard, B.E. Howard and Admire Zimmerman.

On 10 July 1920, Admire Zimmerman, 23, of Elm City, son of Caesar and Irene Zimmerman, married Viola Wilson [Williams], 24, of Wilson, daughter of Richard and Martha Jane Williams, in Elm City. Witnesses were David Woodard, J.A. Anderson, and Sid Laws.

On 28 July 1927, Admire Zimmerman, 27, married Alma Dock, 18, in Wilson. Jim Dock, Lillie Dock and G.W. Kinlaw witnessed.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: pubic service laborer Admire Zimmerman, 47; wife Kattie, 37; and children Junior, 14, Mary, 12, and Shirley, 3. The family had lived in Richmond, Virginia, in 1935. Next door: Baptist preacher Ceasar Zimmerman, 68, and wife Irene, 65.

On 5 April 1956, Admire Zimmerman, 63, son of Cecil and Irene Zimmerman, married Ava Gardner, 66, daughter of Stephen and Hattie Roberson Owens, in Wilson.

Admire Zimmerman died 23 February 1962 at 616 Manchester Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 May 1896 in Darlington, S.C., to Ceasar Zimmerman and Irene Jarrell; was a widower; and was a laborer. Informant was Caesar Zimmerman, 900 Woodard Avenue, Washington, D.C.

  • Jack Washington

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Jack Washington died 23 November 1962 at his 1109 Woodard Street Extension residence. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 August 1884 in Tampa, Florida, to George Washington and Cecil (last name unknown); was married to Daisy Washington; and was a laborer.

Cutt Davis died 9 August 1952 in Wilson. Per his death certificate: he was born 28 September 1888 in South Carolina to Berry Davis; worked as a shoemaker; resided at 803 East Nash Street; and was buried at Rest Haven. Informant was Thomas F. Davis of Washington, D.C.

  • Ned Barnes

Ned Barnes died 14 November 1960 at 1608 Washington Street Extension, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 February 1896 in Wilson County to Jessie R. and Sary Barnes; resided at Route 4, Wilson; was a plasterer; and was a widower. Frank Barnes, 308 Ward Boulevard, was informant.

  • John T. Barnes

Where did they go?: Out-of-state World War II draft registrations, no. 1.

 

Elton Henry Thomas was the son of Charles Thomas and Sarah Best Thomas. He returned to North Carolina; he died in Goldsboro in 1970.

  • Clarence Charles Dawson

Clarence Charles Dawson was the son of Clarence C. Dawson (see below) and Elizabeth Thomas Dawson.

  • Clarence Connor Dawson

Clarence Connor Dawson was the son of Alexander D. Dawson and Lucy Hill Dawson.

  • Leroy Armstrong

  • Walter Armstrong

  • Van Armstrong

Van Armstrong was the son of Guston and Drucilla Armstrong of Toisnot township, Wilson County. He first appears in the federal census of Petersburg, Virginia, in 1930.

Charles S. Alston was the son of James H. and Martha Dew Alston of Wilson township, Wilson County. On 3 November 1920, Charles S. Alston, 24, married Lessie Barbrey, 22, daughter of Hulis and Lola Barbrey, in Elm City. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of James O. Bunn, William H. Woods and Charles S. Thomas, all of Wilson.

  • David Alston

David Daniel Alston was the son of Henry and Mary Taylor Alston. He died 8 November 1974 in Norfolk, Virginia.

  • James Henry Adams

  • Edward Adams

U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The greatest generation, pt. 3.

Each year the Wilson Daily Times publishes an advertising supplement that honors local veterans on Veterans Day. The insert features photographs submitted to the paper by its readership. This post is the third highlighting African-American soldiers and sailors included in the supplement.

  • Nathaniel Jones, Army, World War II

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  • Roma Jones, S.Sgt., Army, World War II

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  • Eddie L. Joyner, Army, World War I

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  • James Calvin Lewis, Army, 1944-46

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  • James Reid, Army, 1942-46

  • Aaron Swinson, Army, 1943

  • William R. White, Sgt., Army, 1941-45

  • Arthur Winstead, Army, World War II

  • Jacelle Winstead, Corp., Army, World War II

U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The greatest generation, pt. 2.

Each year the Wilson Daily Times publishes an advertising supplement that honors local veterans on Veterans Day. The insert features photographs submitted to the paper by its readership. This post is the second highlighting African-American soldiers and sailors included in the supplement.

  • Lossie Batts, Corp., Army, 1945-46

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  • Colonious Junius Best, Army, World War II

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  • Roosevelt W. Best, Army, 1941-44

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  • Charles W. Christian, Sgt., Navy, 1940-44

Charles Wesley Christian’s wife Ada Odelle Harris Christian (1913-1992) was a Wilson native.

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  • Louis Hall Sr., Army Air Corps, 1945-47

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  • Joseph Harris, PFC, Army, 1946

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  • William H. Harris, FPC, Army, 1943-46

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  • Damp Haskins Jr., Army, 1945-47

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1200 Wainright Street, Coca-Cola plant laborer Damp Haskins, 24; wife Susie B., 21; son Damp Jr., 2, and daughter Hellen, 6 months; mother Hester, 72; brother Joseph, 18; Martha Pitt, 52; and nephew Jim Haskins, 10.

  • Willis Edward Hyman, Navy, World War II

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  • Johnnie A. Lucas, T-5, Army, World War II

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  • Reuben O’Neal Sr., Steward Mate, Navy, 1944-46

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U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, database on-line, http://www.ancestry.com.