Winfield Ferguson Corriston
1LT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co C
Born 1918 in NJ, Died 1998
County of residence at enlistment: Gloucester County, NJ
Other residence(s): Williamstown, NJ; Salisbury, MD
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: semiskilled mechanics and repairmen, motor vehicles
College education before the war: Maryville College 1 year
College education after the war: Lehigh Univ.
Win Corriston was born on February 9, 1918 in Barrington, NJ. He was an only child; he and his parents lived with his maternal grandparents, and his teenage and preteen aunts and uncles; his father worked in a shipyard. By the 1930 census, Win's father was no longer living with them; his mother was working as a dressmaker.
Win completed a year at Maryville College in Maryville, TN from 1937-1938, but returned to New Jersey to work after that. By the time of the 1940 census, he was living with his mother, her second husband, and a stepbrother in Williamstown, NJ. When he registered for the draft that October, he was working for Harold Houck in Barrington.
Win enlisted on March 21, 1941; at that time he was working as an auto mechanic. By May 2, 1942, when he married Miriam "Mimi" Ford, he was stationed at Fort Meade, MD and had earned the rank of LT.
Win was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion and served in Europe with the unit. (He was known as "Blackie" during his Ghost Army years.) He appears to have been promoted to CPT and later to MAJ during his years in the service. He may have been discharged as late as 1947; a newspaper article from 1947, describing a speech he gave on "The Ghost Army" to the Allentown National Association of Power Engineers, characterizes him as a Major in the US Army Engineers Corps.
He then used his GI Bill benefits to study mechanical engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. During his years there he played football, softball, and basketball, and was a member of Phi Delta Theta and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He and Mimi had a daughter, Toni, who was developmentally disabled.
After graduating from Lehigh in 1949, he worked as a sales and research engineer for the Johns-Manville Corporation for 30 years. He held patents in both the US and Canada for various devices such as a band clamp and sleeves/nipples for pipes.
After his retirement from Johns-Manville, he took a job managing the water treatment plant at the Chesapeake Bay Model in Stevensville, MD, and held that post for 10 years. By that time the family was living in Salisbury, MD; Win and Mimi's daughter Toni became a resident of the Holly Center in Salisbury, a residential center for the developmentally disabled. Win was an active volunteer there. He was appointed by the governor of Maryland to serve a four-year term as a member of the Holly Center Citizens Advisory Board, and he was elected vice-chairman in 1978.
He was also a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Salisbury, and very active in church affairs.
He died on April 22, 1998 in Salisbury, MD.
1949 yearbook photo (Lehigh University; see link below)
1938 Maryville college yearbook
1940 draft record
1941 enlistment record
1942 marriage record
1947 article in the Allentown PA Morning Call about his speaking on the Ghost Army
1949 article in the Camden NJ Courier-Post about his graduation from Lehigh
1949 Lehigh yearbook
1965 patent record
1970 patent record
1975 article in the Salisbury MD Daily Times about his appointment to a citizens’ board by the governor
1986 mother's obituary in the Camden NJ Courier-Post
1998 Social Security death index
1998 obituary in the Salisbury MD Daily Times
2013 wife's obituary in the Salisbury MD Daily Times