Monday, July 18, 2016

PVT Harvey McKenzie

courtesy of Jason Cockfield
PVT Harvey McKenzie was born 26 Mar 1915 in Lee County, South Carolina. He was the first born of 9 children of Isaac Ollie and Ada C. (Boyet) McKenzie. The family farmed but sometime after 1920, Isaac began work for the city of Camden, South Carolina. Harvey married Janie Edna Tant in April 1935. By 1940 Harvey was working as a fireman at a saw mill reporting a 1939 income of $520.

Harvey was drafted in September 1943. After his basic training PVT McKenzie was sent to the European theater. He was first transferred to B Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 13 Jun 1944. However, he was only with that unit for a couple of days before he was again transferred, this time to A Company 116th Infantry on 15 Jun 1944 in order to help make up for that unit's severe losses on 6 Jun 1944. We then discover a bit of confusion as the morning report indicates that he was promoted to SGT on 9 Jul 1944 but is still noted as a PVT in subsequent entries. Newspaper reports indicate that his rank was SGT or even SSG. However, Harvey was wounded on 13 Jul 1944 and evacuated to hospital but died of his wound(s) on 18 Jul 1944. Military records give his rank as PVT.

PVT McKenzie was repatriated and re-interred in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, South Carolina.

Maternal grandfather, William Washington Boyet, served as PVT in K Company 50th Georgia Infantry (CSA). Harvey's brothers also served. Robert and Hosea served in the Army, also in the European theater. Coley served as an EM3 on the USS Thorn in the South Pacific and Isaac served as a MM3 in the Navy in California.

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