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John Joseph Williams

T/5 in Signal Co, Special : Radio A

Military occupational specialty: 740 (radio operator, intermediate speed)


Born 1921 in MO, Died 2010

County of residence at enlistment: Adair County, MO
Other residence(s): Vandalia, MO; Columbia, MO
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: farm hands, general farms
Source: Unit Shipment 10143-D, 23d HQ, from le Havre 23 June 1945;

John Williams was born on September 2, 1921 in Kirksville, MO. His father was a farmer and carpenter; John was the older of two sons.

He married Barbara Constance Lipper on January 9, 1942, and filled out his draft registration a few weeks later. He enlisted on October 16, 1942; at that time he was working as a farmhand.

He was eventually assigned to the Signal Company Special of the Ghost Army.

His grandson Michael (one of two grandsons of John's who are physicians) reports that John was among the handful of Ghost Army soldiers who formed an advance unit, coming ashore on Omaha Beach on D-Day early in the afternoon. (The rest of the unit followed a few weeks later.)

After the war, John returned to Missouri, and raised two children with Barbara: John and Pat.  In 1959, the family moved from Vandalia to Columbia, MO, when John took a job as the superintendent of building trades at the University of Missouri. He spent 18 years there, and after retiring from that position became a home builder.

John died on January 19, 2010 in Columbia, and is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Columbia.


1940 census

1942 marriage record

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

2010 Find a Grave record (includes obituary)

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