Stories lifted from names on WWII monument

  
There a stories behind every name inscribed in gold at the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial. The following men's stories vary, but their endings are all the same. Each died defending our nation's liberties.
   Lt. Robert Lee Davis is among the names of Carter County war dead on the World War II memorial at the Carter County Veterans Memorial.
   Lt. Davis was among the first Carter Countians to lose their lives in World War II. The lieutenant, who was in the Air Corps, was in the Southwest Pacific area when he was lost presumably while flying over the Pacific Ocean, as no trace of his plane or of the flyer was ever found. The date was July 15, 1942.
   Lt. Davis, who entered service in 1941, was awaiting overseas duty when the attack came at Pearl Harbor. He was among the first to leave for Pacific duty, arriving in Australia in the early days of the New Guinea campaign. Switching from pursuit to medium bomber flying, he participated in the desperate first months of the air war against Japan in that area. Some of the exploits of his groups are to be found in a book written by War Correspondent Pat Robinson, who flew with Lt. Davis' crew. Following a crackup which left him with severe recurrent headaches, Lt. Davis was transferred to transport flying. It was on such a mission that he took off for New Guinea and disappeared.
   He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Davis. His brother, Lt. Judson A. Davis, also served during World War II with the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
   Davis' parents were officially notified by letter on August 23, 1943, that an official determination had been made of the death of their son.
   The letter from the War Department in part read: "With great regret I have learned that an official determination has been made of the death of your son, First Lt. Robert Lee Davis, who has been missing since July 14, 1942, in the southwest Pacific Theatre of operations.
   World War II touched every part of the world and while Davis was missing in Italy, Sgt. Alvin L. Pierce was fighting a hemisphere away in Africa. The 25-year-old was killed in action in North Africa May 9, 1943. He had been awarded the Silver Star for heroism.
   Sgt. Pierce, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Pierce, Elizabethton, also served in Africa. He had joined the service Feb. 12, 1940, and received his training at Fort Devons, Mass. He was a member of the National Guard before enlisting in the service.
   Following his death, his parents received a letter from Staff Sgt. M.W. Sims, a friend of their son. The two had met in Florida while in training and had become bosom pals. His letter told about his death.
   In part, it read: "Around May 10, Al was hit by machine-gun bullets and died on his way to the ambulance.
   "On his fatal mission, we were in another sector, so my information is by way of his outfit. Al volunteered to assist his captain in trying to clear out a fortified German position which was at the time surrounded and isolated. This position was on a high mountain surrounded by flat country and a lake.
   "He is buried near Mateur, very close to the place where he met the supreme test."
   Many of the young men from Carter County who died during World War I were initially listed as missing in action. Among them was Jimmy Peoples, who met death on a life raft.
   The son of Mr. and Mrs. Lon Peoples, Jimmy's family was notified in June 1943 of his death. An aviation radioman, James Edward Peoples was initially reported missing in action as a result of not returning from an airplane flight while in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. The family later learned that their son had died from exposure on a life raft.
   Jimmy, who would have been 20 on July 30, 1943, was on duty on a ship stationed in the Atlantic area. He had been in service two years, volunteering June 29, 1941, and was sent overseas in August 1942. He received his training at Norfolk, Va., and Alameda, Calif.
   He attended schools in Elizabethton and was a member of the Elizabethton High School Band for five years. He was a member of the Doe River Baptist Church.
   Another name on the World War II monument at the new Carter County Veterans Monument is S. Sgt. Robert H. Hilton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hilton.
   S. Sgt. Hilton was reported missing in action May 14, 1943, and in September 1943, was declared killed in action in the European area.
   Sgt. Hilton, 20, was born in Elizabethton and attended schools in Elizabethton. He was an employee of the American Bemberg Corporation, prior to volunteering for the air corps. He entered service July 12, 1942 and took his basic training at Keesler Field, Miss.
   Hilton was graduated from aerial gunnery school and received his wings at Fullman, Wash., on November 15, 1942, after which he was transferred to Pueblo, Colo.
   He was assigned to a bombardment squadron as an aerial gunner on a Flying Fortress and was sent overseas in April 1943.
   Sgt. Hilton was one of many brave soldiers in his family. In World War I, his father and three uncles, Lon, Bernie and Bob, served with honor in Co. G, 117th Infantry, 30th Division in France, all of whom returned home safely.
   Lloyd H. Morrell, son of Mr. and Mrs. S.M. Morrell, lost his life while he trained for combat oversees during World War II. He died April 3, 1943 when his plane crashed near Macon, Ga.
   Morrell was 20 years old at the time of his death. He volunteered for service in the Air Corps in July 1940, and had studied and trained in the various branches of aviation until a few months before his death. Upon graduation, he stood fourth in a class of 220 young men.
   The flight officer was a member of First Christian Church and had a promising aviation career.