Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PFC Paul Stoner

courtesy of Yvonne Freed Dunne

PFC Paul Stoner was born 29 Aug 1912 in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. He was the only son and youngest of the 2 children born to William Henry and Rebecca Alice (Leitch) Stoner.The family was farming on a rented farm along Bellefonte and Lewiston Road near Potter, Pennsylvania in 1920 when Paul's mother died. His father apparently did not remarry and by 1930 Paul was living with the Dayton Lansberry family on their farm on Earlystown Road near Potter. Shown as a boarder on the 1930 census he was probably working the farm with Lansberrys. In any event, Paul never attained more than a grammar school education. On 13 Dec 1938, Paul married local girl, Laura M. Koch in Winchester, Virginia. The couple lived for a time on Main Street in Spring, Pennsylvania where Paul worked for a White Rock Company in nearby Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania earning a reported 1939 income of $800 and paying a rent on their home of $10 a month. Other than the trip to Winchester to marry, there is no evidence that Paul had ever been much more than 10-miles from his place of birth. 

It appears that he might have been enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard but had been discharged for more than 6-months when he was drafted in December 1942. After training and various assignments at Fort McClellan, Fort Meade and Camp McCoy he was sent to England in May of 1944. PFC Stoner was not transferred from the replacement depot to C Company 116th Infantry until 5 Jul 1944. He was wounded the very next day as the unit was struggling to capture Saint-Lo when explosion caused a large stone to strike him in the back. Evacuated to hospital he returned to the unit via the replacement depot on 20 Jul 1944. He was wounded again on 7 Aug 1944 near Vire, France but returned to the 116th again on on 9 Aug 1944 this time to B Company but was transferred back to C Company the next day. He was again wounded, this time by a bullet in the chest, and sent to the hospital on 25 Aug 1944. Evacuated to England, he died in hospital there on 29 Sep 1944 perhaps due to an embolism of the pulmonary artery caused by the bullet wound. This may very well have been in Cambridge but we don't know right now.

PFC Stoner was repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in the Reformed and Lutheran Cemetery in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. 

Paul and Laura had no children and Laura never re-married.


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