Friday, October 7, 2016

PVT Earl Dale Potter

courtesy of Des Philippet
PVT Earl Dale Potter was born 21 Jul 1920 in Provo, Arkansas. He was the 8th of the 11 children born to Benjamin Dallas and Martha Loutisia (Kaiser) Potter. The family repeatedly moved living in 3 different Texas counties and in 2 counties in Arkansas. His father supported the family by farming and various other jobs including working in bridge construction. His oldest sister died at age 25 in 1923, his father in 1932 of peritonitis, and his mother in 1935 of tuberculosis. A brother had died in infancy before Earl was born. His 3 youngest brothers were sent to Buckner's Orphan's Home in Dallas, Texas. Earl went to work and by 1940 was working as a mason for Harkey Malakoff in Malakoff, Texas. Brother, Lowell Benjamin Potter, died at age 16 in 1942.

Earl was drafted in July 1942. It was probably after his military training in communications that he married Alice Mary Pitre on 10 Aug 1943 in Thibodaux, Louisiana. They would have a daughter in August 1944. PVT Potter had likely already been sent to the European theater and transferred from the replacement depot on 4 Sep 1944 to Headquarters 2nd Battalion 116th Infantry where he served in the signal section. PVT Potter was in a jeep near Kerkrade, Holland transporting coils of wire with 4 other soldiers from 2nd Battalion's signal section when the vehicle struck and detonated a German mine. 4 men, including PVT Potter were killed. Dying with him were CPL Wimburne Phinney, PVT Hairston Cumberland, and PVT Marcus Segan.

PVT Potter rests forever in the Henri-Chappelle American Cemetery.

Earl's grandfather, Elijah Dallas Potter, served as a PVT in H Company Lane's Texas Rangers. His brother, Lonnie Louis Potter, served as an MM3c aboard the USS Shelikof (AVP-52).

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