Remembering Clyde Cagle, KIA July 1944
Gerald Cagle has very graciously made available these letters from his brother Clyde, who was killed in action near St. Lo, France in July, 1944. Also attached are letters from a soldier who knew Clyde and was with him when he was killed, as well as letters sent home by Clyde’s commanders after his death. These precious documents bear witness to the courage and sacrifice made by so many and remind us of the terrible cost of war. Thank you Gerald, for sharing these with us.
Co. B Tn Bn 5th Regt.
Fort McClellan, Alabama
Sunday, Nov. 15 1942
Letter to Mr. W.A. Cagle
Booneville, MississippiHello to All,
I hope this letter finds all of you well. As for me I am doing O.K. I haven’t been anything much yet. My training will start Monday the 16th then I will find out what the army is really like. This training will last six weeks then I will be sent to some other compound I don’t know where that will be. Me and Jake, Elmer and Elbert are in the same company together. Me and Jake sleeps in the same hut and our beds are close together. I don’t have much to write so I had better close. Some of you write me and let me know how you all are getting along.
So long for this time,
Co. F 121st Inf.
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
U.S. Army Letter to Mr. W.A. Cagle
Sunday Morning January 24, 1943Dear Grandpa, Grandma and All:
How are all of you getting along. Fine I hope. I am doing fine. Papa and them wrote and told me that Grandma was some better and that Grandpa was doing all right too. I was very glad to hear that. I guess all of you are doing all right or they would have told me about it. Alton and Molley I bet that boy is really grown since I saw him last. I bet Stanley don’t care anything about him I mean he does. I am liking my new camp all right. It has really been cold here. I think it has been as low as 10 or 15 degrees below zero. We have barracks as good as any house to stay in. Our barracks are heated by one big furnace. We don’t have to worry about fire for there is one man that keeps fire all day and all night. This is about all I have to write this time.
With love to you all,
Sunday Morning February 28, 1943Dear Grandpa, Grandma and All
How is everybody this fine morning. Fine I hope. As for me I am doing fine. It is really a pretty morning in Missouri. I guess it the same in Mississippi. Elsie I got your letter which I was glad to get. I was glad to hear that all of you were doing pretty well. Yes, I know about Richard getting his call. I hated to hear about it but it can’t be helped. I am not having much of a hard time. Some time I have to work harder than at other. I haven’t been doing anything much for the last week only to classes and studying the weapons we use in our company. Most of the work we do is walking and digging slit trenches. We have to walk Guard about every 12 days. I don’t like it much but it is not much bad. You don’t get to sleep much when on Guard. We have to Guard Prisoners too. Alton I guess you and Molly and children are doing all right to. When I write a letter to any of you I mean it for all. I will send some of my picture when I get some. We can’t hardly get any films to have pictures made. We are going to leave this camp pretty soon. Some of them say that we are going on maneuvers. I don’t know whether we are or not but I wouldn’t doubt it. I haven’t seen Elmer but one time since we have parted. This company has been quarantined because of the mumps and I haven’t been going anywhere. Me and Jake is still together. This is about all I know to write this time. Good Bye until next time.
With love to you all,
April 29, 1944Dear Jake,
How is everything going by now. Fine I hope. As for me I am doing fine. I received your letter last night which I was glad to get. They wrote me about Melton being at home on furlough. I am glad he got it. I was surprised to hear about Roy getting another furlough. I believe that makes him two. It is good that he can get to come home now while he is in the States. I hope him and Melton don’t have to come across. Maybe they won’t. I’ll be glad when all of us can come back across. It is good that Wade is close enough that he can come home pretty often. I guess he is still liking his job. I haven’t heard from Howard since we have been over here. I don’t have his address or I would write him. I wrote him just before we left the states. Cecil got a letter from you today. I don’t know if he has answered it yet or not. I guess this is all for now. I will close for now. Keep everything going.
Mr. CagleI guess you will wonder who I am but I am Ed Ray. I was your son Clyde’s platoon sgt. And I got wounded in France. I want to tell you that Clyde was a very dear friend of mine. I was with him when he got killed. We were about ten miles from St. Lo. Some time about the 9th of July. We got cut off by the Germans. Our company lost about 25 men in that same battle. Clyde was with me. They was only a few of us left. I got up and started around a fence. Clyde called me and ask me did I want him to come. And I told him yes. And about that time I heard some shells coming and I hit the ground and after they hit I run back. And there lay Clyde with his face down on his machine gun. He never did speak after he was hit. He had been with me ever since he come to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He was just like a brother to me. And one of the best soldiers. No body felt his death more than me. I can say it and tell the truth he was one of the cleanest living boys I have ever met. I have heard him talk about his home and I wonder it is a awful price to pay in war. But I am lucky to be here. I will stop this time.
The Adjutant General’s Office
August 1, 1944In reply refer to AG 201 Cagle, Clyde F. PC-N ETO139
Mrs. Maggie D. Cagle
Route Number 4
Dear Mrs. Cagle:
It is with regret that I am writing to confirm the recent telegram informing you of the death of your son, Private First Class Clyde F. Cagle, 34,473,221, Infantry, who was killed in action on 12 July in France. I fully understand your desire to learn as much as possible regarding the circumstances leading to his death and I wish that there were more information available to give you. Unfortunately, reports of this nature contain only the briefest details as they are prepared under battle conditions and the means of transmission are limited. I know the sorrow this message has brought you and it is my hope that in time the knowledge of his heroic service to his country, even unto death, may be of sustaining comfort to you. I extend to you my deepest sympathy.
The Adjutant General
APO 8, New York,N.Y.
19 December 1944
Mrs. Maggie D. Cagle
Dear Mrs. Cagle:
The Regimental Commander, the Officers and men of the 121st Infantry Regiment wish to express their deepest sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your son, Pfc Clyde F. Cagle, 34473221, Co. L, 121st Infantry who was killed in action in France on 12 July 1944. Your son was performing his duty in a most courageous and excellent manner and was held in high esteem by all those who knew him. We want you to know that you are not alone in your loss, for it was ours also. Our prayer is that God may be close to you in your sorrow and that through His grace you may find comfort.
James F. McCrary, Chaplain
This letter was sent to Gerald Cagle’s uncle, who was medically discharged just before he was to be shipped overseas.
I received your letter while I was on a furlough. Sure was glad to hear from you. John, about Clyde we went in France July 4th and fought from there on most up the boys either got wounded or killed. Perry Lt. Huffham, CC Knight, Johnes, Hunt, all got killed the first day. Me, Hoare, McCuistion, Adkins got wounded. Oh yes Sgt. Thompson got killed, Bradley too.
John, a 88 shell got me, and that is what got Clyde. We was pinned down and the captain sent me to bring them up closer. I got up and started. And Clyde followed me. And he forgot his gun. And he went back to get it. And just as he picked up it a shell hit him it went through him. And I run to him but he never did speak one word. I got the gun out from under him and laid him on his back. And that is about all they was to it. Hoare ,McCuistion ,Adkins got wounded the same time. I can say Clyde was a good boy one of the best. And I felt it as if it had been a brother of mine. Well John, when you find time write. So long.
If you remember Clyde, enjoyed this tribute page or have any information that would help Gerald, please contact him at the following :
938 CR 2578
Baldwyn, MS 38824