This obituary is of my great grand uncle, Charles Richard “Dick” Waits. At the time, he was the 90th Fairfield County, Ohio serviceman killed in action, and the 109th war death from that county since Pearl Harbor. The article was featured in the 4/20/1945 edition of the Lancaster Eagle Gazette:
Three Lancastrians Lose Lives At War
… T-5 Corporal Charles Richard (Dick) Waits, 25, husband of Mrs. Margaret Ann Waits, 111 North Pearl-av, and only son of Mr. and Mrs. Harmon C. Waits, 702 Eastwood-av. A tank gunner in an armored division of the Seventh Army, Cpl. Waits was reported by the War Department as killed in action April 6 in Germany.
T-5 Corporal Waits, who would have been 26 years old on April 27, has been reported by the War Department as killed in action April 6, somewhere in Germany. His wife is the former Margaret Ann Phillips, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Phillips of the Pearl-av address. For the past year, Mrs. Waits has been helping her sister, Mrs. Paul Hang (Betty Phillips) operate the Isaly Company store in Circleville during the absence of Paul Hang, formerly of Lancaster, who has been serving overseas. Twice wounded, Pvt. Hang has been returned to the States and is now visiting his family in Circleville.
Cpl. Waits entered the Army here December 9, 1941, received training at Fort Knox, Ky. and Camp Polk, La., in the Armored Force, then was at Temple, Texas, Camp Hood, Texas, receiving further instruction in tank and tank destroyer operation and maintenance, and also at Camp Pickett, Va. He sailed overseas in April, 1943, two years ago; arriving in North Africa where he served in the North African campaign.
Waits took part in the invasion of Sicily in July, 1943 and also in the invasion of Italy at Salerno in September, 1943, attached to a unit of the 45th Division, then a part of the U.S. 5th Army.
He also saw service at Cassino, Gela, Palermo and during the drive on Rome with the armored force. Last August Waits participated in the invasion of Southern France. He was in maintenance, then a half-track crew member, then a tank driver, and at the time of his death was a tank gunner attached to the 753rd Tank battalion of an armored division in the 7th Army, possibly in the Nuermberg (sic) sector of Germany.
Cpl. Waits and other members of the battalion had received the French Croix de Guerre, and the Vermillion Star recently for their outstanding operations with French units during a phase of the Italian campaign last year.
Prior to his induction T/5 Cpl. Waits was employed at the Sohio filling station, corner Broad and Chestnut-sts. He was a graduate of Lancaster High School, where he played football.
In addition to his wife and parents, Cpl. Waits leaves three sisters, Miss May Waits, chief telephone operator here, Mrs. Ernest Miller, Muskegon, Mich., and Mrs. Ralph Williams, Columbus.
The last letter Mrs. Waits received from her husband was dated March 30, from somewhere inside Germany.
I’d also like to mention the other two servicemen mentioned in the article:
First Lieutenant William S. Massey (5/9/1917 – 3/26/1945), 187th Glider Infantry, 11th Airborne, United States Army, died of battle wounds in the Philippines. He is buried in the Manila American Cemetery.
Corporal Kenneth Kinney Metcalf (8/15/1922 – 4/5/1945), 6th Division, United States Marine Corps, was KIA at Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands, 350 miles from Japan. He is buried in Forest Rose Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio.
Through my many internet wanderings and various Ohio contacts, I had never been able to locate this newspaper article. Many, many thanks to Jane Mason (Miller) for locating and mailing a copy!
Brian Davis – Christine Davis (Williams) – Ralph Scott Williams Jr. – Nellie Ruth Williams (Waits/sister of Charles Richard Waits)