Saturday, June 18, 2016

PVT Johnnie Edward Strange

courtesy of John Jackson

PVT Johnnie Edward Strange was born in Blanco, Oklahoma on 1 Jan 1924. He was the youngest of the 6 children born to Jess Houston and Effie Gertrude (Williams) Strange. His father was working as a coal miner presumably for the McAlester-Edwards Coal Company. However, the mining in that area was already in a decline and by 1940 Jess was supporting his family by working for the Works Progress Administration earning a reported 1939 income of $355. The family was renting their home, perhaps one of the former coal company houses, for $3 a month. Johnnieonly completed 2-years of high school and was working for the Katz Drug Store in 1942. 

Drafted in September 1943, Johnnie began his military service at Jefferson Barracks and after completing his basic military training was sent to England and assigned to I Company 116th Infantry where he trained with the unit for the planned amphibious landing that was to be part of the liberation of Nazi occupied France. He took part in that assault on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944 and fought with the unit until wounded in the abdomen by artillery fire on 17 Jun 1944. Evacuated to hospital he died of his wound(s) on 18 Jun 1944. 

PVT Strange was repatriated and re-interred in the Eldon Cemetery in Eldon, Missouri.  

Brother, Garland Eugene Strange, served as an S1c aboard the USS Klondike (AD-22) during WW2.

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