Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 136
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
U. S. 3rd, 16th, and 45th Infantry, were the first troops ashore. The invading forces
quickly established and consolidated a beachhead. In 31 days, they covered 270 miles,
accomplishing each of their objectives and capturing 57,000 Germans.
Norman L. Lanier, who was born March 2, 1925 in Lissie, was serving with
the 45th Infantry. Lanier, the son of David Leslie and Ola Belle Smith Lanier, had moved
with his family to Garwood in 1929, and had graduated from Garwood High School in
1942. He was inducted into the service on June 21, 1943, and with the 45th Infantry,
landed in southern France. A little less than two months later, on October 13, 1944,
Lanier was reported killed in action while serving as a scout. His last letter to his parents
told of a narrow escape when a bullet pierced his helmet and wool cap. Shortly after they
received that letter, Lanier's family received notice that he was missing in action. Two
weeks after that, they received confirmation of his death. Lanier, at the age of 19, was
one of the younger men from Colorado County to die in the war.
Stars, as a symbol, played a big part in the war. As a reminder of the men
who were serving in the military, many churches hung banners in their sanctuaries. A
star, each of which bore a name, was affixed to the banner to represent each man in the
military. If the man was killed, the star was changed from gold to silver. In addition,
mothers were, like General Dwight D. Eisenhower, accorded five stars if they sent five
sons to the war. Norman Lanier's mother was a five-star mother. Happily, her fourth son,
Norman, was the only loss to the family. At the time he died, three of his brothers, Jack,
Foy, and M. G., were already in the military. The youngest Lanier boy, Leo, would join
later. In addition to his brothers, Norman Lanier was survived by three sisters, Hazel,
Bertha, and Rhea. He was buried at an American military cemetery in Epinal, France.
Though his remains were never returned to the United States, there are two markers
erected to his memory in Colorado County. The first is a memorial stone beside a large
oak tree at the Lehrer Memorial Methodist Church in Garwood; the second, erected by
M. G. Lanier in 1993, is in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Columbus.58
Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Louis Donald Vaughan
Died October 26, 1944
Louis Donald Vaughan was a U. S. Navy aviation radioman 3rd class. His
father, Jessie Picard Vaughan, lived in Sheridan. Vaughan was memorialized in the
cemetery in Manila, Philippines. Given his date of death and the fact that he was a navy
flier, he probably was killed in the invasion of Leyte. Nothing more is known, except that
he is on the Veterans Commission addendum.
Pvt. Ernest August Herndon
April 23, 1922 - November 5, 1944
After D-Day, Allied troops swept through France. They reached the Siegfreid
Line early in December 1944. In September, Alexander M. Patch's Seventh Army, which
58 Eagle Lake Headlight, November 10, 1944; Colorado County Citizen, November 16, 1944.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995, periodical, September 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151395/m1/28/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.