SSG Cecil F. Runnells was born in 1920 in Butler County, Ohio. He was the youngest of the 8 children born to Elias and Emaline (Marshall) Runnells. His father was a teamster but died in October 1930. Cecil went to work in foundry.
Cecil was drafted in September 1943. After his basic military training he was sent to the European theater. PVT Runnells was transferred from the replacement depot to B Company 116th Infantry on 17 Jul 1944. He was almost immediately transferred to A Company 116th Infantry on the 23 Jul 1944 to serve as a rifleman. He was injured (a non battle casualty) on 3 Aug 1944 and evacuated to hospital but returned to duty on 6 Aug 1944. Cecil was promoted to SSG on 21 Aug 1944 just before the regiment conducted a road march to attack Brest, France. SSG Runnells was killed in action on 29 Aug 1944.
SSG Runnells is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery.