published Friday, April 1st, 2011

Bradley World War II veterans sought


Living Bradley County veterans who served, whether in combat or non-combat duties, from Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946, can call Joe Davis at 728-7419.

CLEVELAND, Tenn.—The local American Legion post already has a photo display of the last World War I veterans from Bradley County, but veterans of World War II should have the same kind of photo remembrance, according to Joe Davis, county veterans service officer.

“I’ve got a list of about 20. There’s others I don’t know about,” Davis said. “There could be 50 or 75 left.”

Davis said all he needs for now are names and telephone numbers. He will organize a group photo in a few years, he said.

“It sounds like a last-man-standing club, but that is not what we are doing,” he said.

Ron Sellers’ name already is on the list. At 17, he began his service with the U.S. Navy. After the war, he was in the first class at the University of Tennessee in 1946 supported by the GI Bill.

“In 1943, I just got out of high school. I was helping my dad milk 40 cows, and I wanted to be anywhere but there,” Sellers said. “Two months later in San Diego, I would have given anything to be back with the cows.”

Instead, Sellers was shipping out to the South Pacific with a U.S. Navy Armed Guard unit that protected cargo on U.S. merchant marine ships.

He spent the war in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal, the New Hebrides, New Guinea and New Caledonia. He was en route to the Philippines when the war ended.

“The war gave me the impetus to do other things that I might have thought I couldn’t do,” he said.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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