Saturday, November 1, 2008

Veterans Day: Man Receives Medals 56 Years Later

The Douglas County Sentinel article from July 4, 2001, that appears with this post (below) discusses FBCLS member Roy Webb. You can click on the article to get a closer view, however the text has been reproduced below:

Almost 55 years after he was discharged from the Army, a Douglas County resident has finally received the medals he received during and after WWII.

Thomas Roy Webb, 74, of Lithia Springs, served as a combat medic at the end of WW II and spent a year with the occupation forces in Japan. His military service includes four years in the Naval Air Reserve and three years in the Georgia Air National Guard.

A mix-up in his military records led the Army to believe Webb was not due any medals. According to Webb, recent efforts by Congressman Bob Barr, the American Legion, and the VFW led the government to finally get around to sending him the medals he justly deserved.

On Monday, a package arrived at Webb’s home containing the four medals. Included were the Army Good Conduct , Asiatic Pacific Campaign, Victory World War II, and Army of Occupation medals.

“I had a great surprise awaiting me when I went to my mailbox on July 2,” Webb said. “I had never received any of my service medals from WW II. I had given up hope of ever getting them.”

Webb, a graduate of Douglas County High School was drafted at the age of 18 on December 21, 1944. He was eventually assigned to the 98th Infantry Division, 323rd Engineering Brigade and on July 4, 1945 reached Hawaii.

Following the Japanese surrender, the division was sent to Japan where they landed, ready for combat, on September 27, 1945.

“It was rough. There was a typhoon in the bay,” Webb said. “We had live ammo. If they had started to shoot, we were prepared to meet it.

After spending a year as part of the occupational forces in Japan, Webb was transferred back to the United States and was discharged in October, 1946 as a Technician, Four Grade. He then had a 30-year career with International Harvester.

Webb and his wife Geraldine, live in Lithia Springs. He is a member of the First Baptist Church, Lithia Springs. They have three children, Diane, Randy, and Steven.

Webb said at first, he did not realize what was in the package he received in the mail. “When I opened the package, there were four boxes,” he said. “Then I took time to read what it said…Then I knew what I had—my service medals.”

“After carefully looking at them, I was shedding tears. This will be the best Fourth of July of my life.”

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.