Saturday, August 27, 2016

PFC Ernest Russell Shifflett

courtesy of Shock
PFC Ernest Russell Shifflett was born 31 Jan 1921 in McGaheysville, Virginia. He was the 4th of 12 children born to Irvin Lee and Ella Virginia (Shiflett) Shifflett. Russell's (as he was known) father farmed in Greene and Rockingham counties.

Russell enlisted in the local National Guard unit, C Company 116th Infantry, in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was still serving when the unit was Federalized on 3 Feb 1941. The unit was sent to Fort Meade, Maryland for administrative processing and training. As did most in the regiment, he likely expected to be discharged from active duty by Christmas 1941 but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Germany's declaration of war immediately following prevented that and Russell and his unit continued training by participating in the Carolina Maneuvers near Fort Bragg, North Carolina and continuing training at Camp Blanding, Florida. PFC Shifflett then shipped out for England with the 116th aboard the Queen Mary in September 1942. He then trained with the unit for the amphibious assault that was a planned part of the invasion of occupied France. He took part in the landing, fought with the unit through the bocage, Saint-Lo, Vire, and then to the attack to liberate Brest. It was in that last campaign that PFC Shifflett was killed in action on 27 Aug 1944.

PFC Shifflett was repatriated and re-interred in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in McGaheysville, Virginia.

Brother, Joseph Edward Shifflett, also served in the National Guard before the war and was a PFC in Headquarters 116th Infantry throughout the war. Brother, Robert McKinley Shifflett, also served as a PFC in the U.S. Army during WW2.

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