Battle-hardened WWII National

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Guardsmen hold reunion this week


Staff Writer

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Dec. 4, 2000 10 PM

Just over 60 years ago Nelson Jones left Troy for fighting overseas and he will have the opportunity to meet up with some of his comrades this week.

Nelson was one of between 90 and 100 men with the National Guard unit in Troy which was mobilized during World War II.

The 117th Field Artillery unit left Troy on Nov. 25, 1940 and landed in South Africa, Jones said.

From there, the unit went to Southern Italy. It was on December 1943 that they fired their first rounds. Then, it was on to Italy, where they began fighting above Rome in May 1944. The unit later pulled back and, then, went into Southern France, to the Swiss border, on to Germany, then to Austria, where they were when the war ended.

Jones said most of the personnel started leaving for home in 1945.

"We made a good round," Jones said of the places the unit visited during the war.

On Thursday, those surviving members will have the chance to reunite at Barnhill’s for a Dutch lunch which will begin at 10 a.m.

"There’s not that many of us left," Jones said.

He estimates there are only about 18 of that 90 to 100 men who left here in 1940 and only between eight and 10 of them were involved in the entire tour of duty.

Pike County Probate Judge Bill Stone’s father was one of those men who left Troy with Nelson.

Sgt. Buster Stone was not as fortunate as his other comrades and only his survivors will be able to attend the gathering on Thursday.

But, the get together is for them, as much as it is for those men who fought.

Widows, children and grandchildren are being invited to attend the luncheon, where photos of the men in combat will be displayed.