Letter to the Editor - July 13

July 13, 2011

Passing of Funkstown man marks end of an era

To the editor:

In late January and early February 1941, young men from Washington County and Hagerstown gathered at the armory on North Potomac Street. They were preparing for “M” or Mobilization Day. Company B, 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division was entering federal service for one year. At the end of 1941, the unit was en route home from the Carolina maneuvers. During a rest stop, the men heard the news of Pearl Harbor. One year turned into four years. Some never returned home as they were killed in action.

Company B and the 29th Division had a rendezvous with destiny. After training in England, they were selected for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe.

On D Day, June 6, 1944, the men of Company B commanded by Captain Leroy Weddle headed for a strip of beach in Normandy. Landing shortly after 10 a.m., they helped secure the bloody sands of Omaha Beach, etching their names in the annals of history.

In the ranks of those landing on D-Day was Kenneth Jones. He was the youngest member of the unit. He survived the savage fighting in the hedgerows, the action at St. Lô, and the campaigns of northern France and central Europe.

On July 5, Kenny Jones of Funkstown answered “the last roll call.” He was a soldier, patriot, and friend, and as far as we know, the last surviving member of Company B, 115th Infantry, part of “the greatest generation.” His passing marks the end of an era.

John W. Schildt

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