Enoch: The casualties of war, part II

Published 9:09 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

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By Harry Enoch

Contributing Writer

This article continues a series on the Clark Countians who lost their lives in World War II and the Korean Conflict.

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Charles B. Young

Charles Byrd Young, 24, died on July 15, 1942, when his plane crashed during a training flight.  He was an army air force cadet in training at Shaw Field, South Carolina.  Young was a son of Lula Young and grandson of George and Eliza Jane Byrd of Winchester.

Cadet Young was born in Montgomery County and graduated from Winchester High School, where he was a star on the basketball team.  After graduation in 1936, he attended Anderson College in Anderson, Indiana.  He played basketball for Anderson and was high scorer in the Indiana Conference.  Young also ran track, sang in the college choir and was a member of the college glee club and the Logan Esarey Historical Society.  He received his A. B. degree from Anderson in 1940 and a Master’s degree from Indiana University in 1942.

Charles B. Young’s remains were returned to Winchester accompanied by a military escort.  He was buried in Winchester Cemetery.

Byrum G. Byrd

Byrum G. Byrd was born in 1898 in Morgan County, a son of George and Eliza Jane Byrd.  In 1920 he married Josephine Leoma in El Paso, Texas.  Byrd joined the Army in 1914 at the age of 16.  He was in service during World War I in Hawaii and the Philippines, and later was with General John J. Pershing in the Mexican border skirmish with Pancho Villa.

During World War II Byrd trained soldiers in several states and served one year with the 53d Infantry in the Aleutian Islands.  His last duty was as supply officer for German prisoner of war camps in Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota.

Lieutenant Byrd was killed in an automobile accident near Concordia, Kansas, on April 20, 1944.  His body was returned to Winchester for burial in Winchester Cemetery.

Wendell F. Byrd

Wendell F. Byrd was born in Clark County in 1910, the son of Rev. George and Eliza Jane Byrd.  After graduating from Anderson College, he studied the Bible and theology at Oberlin College of Theology.  From 1937 to 1940 he was a missionary in Alaska for the Board of Home Missions.  In 1941 he was called to active duty as an Army chaplain and served in campaigns in the Fiji Islands and Bougainville.

After the war, Byrd entered the University of Pittsburgh where he received Master’s in Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.  In Pittsburgh he served as pastor at a local church and recreational director for the Salvation Army.

Recalled to active duty in November 1950, Byrd went to Japan in July 1951 and that August to Korea, where he was chaplain for the 13th Engineering Battalion of the7th Infantry Division.  Captain Byrd was killed on October 27, 1951, when he reportedly tripped a land mine near the Hwach’on Reservoir in Korea.  He was awarded Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Byrd was survived by his mother, his widow Ruth, daughter Wendy, and five sisters.  He is buried in Winchester Cemetery.

Wendell Byrd was the fifth casualty of war for the family of Rev. George M. Byrd and his wife Eliza Jane of Winchester.  In addition to those listed here, they also lost two grandsons — Chester C. Rose and A. Thomas Rowe in World War II.