December 8, 2013

The Stancil Boys in World War II

On this day in 1941, the United States officially entered the fray of World War II following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Several of the STANCIL brothers served in the war. One lost his life. 

I try to imagine how their mother, Ada Lou JOHNSON STANCIL, must have felt with three of her sons off at war. I'm not sure I wouldn't handled it well. My son, Cameron STANCIL HONOUR, spent last summer in Wyoming and California and you'd have thought he was gone forever, the way I carried on. But to have a son away at war and in constant danger...that's a burden no mother wants to carry. Imagine having THREE sons away at war at the same time. My heart breaks for her.

Jesse Roland Stancil
Roland enlisted in the US Army (1943 - 1944). He completed basic training at Fort Bragg, NC and landed in the Anzio Invasion. He fought up the "boot" of Italy with Co. I, 157th Reg. of the 45th Division. Jesse Roland was killed in southern France on October 21, 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart and is buried in Montlawn Cemetery in Raleigh, NC next to his parents. 

Eric Ray STANCIL served in the US Navy (1944 - 1946) and completed boot camp at Camp Perry, VA. He served aboard the USS Shamrock Bay. He is buried in Montlawn Cemetery in Raleigh, NC next to his parents.

Cecil Braxton STANCIL served in the US Navy (1945 - 1946).He served aboard the USS Corregidor and in Trididad, British West Indies. 

Back to front and L to R:
Ada Lou Johnson Stancil, Roland, Eric,
Macon (Joe), Carl, Edith, and
Cecil Stancil
Ada Lou's sons joined the military in 1943, 1944, and 1945. I've often wondered if Roland's death prompted Eric and Cecil to join. Can you imagine Ada's horror at having her two younger sons enlist after her eldest son was killed in France?

I'm sure the family was extremely proud of their sons who served, although I can't help but think of it from a mother's perspective. 

As proud as I am of my family's military history, I hope my son never has to witness the tragedy of war.

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