Book Excerpts

John Campbell Wear

An Excerpt from the forthcoming book on DeKalb County Veterans by Julia Brown

John Campbell Wear was born March 27, 1923.
He died November 30, 1995.
Father: Leonard King Wear.
Mother: Mary Isabelle (Campbell) Wear.
Wife: Martha Lucille (Horton) Wear.
Date of marriage: December 16, 1945.
Children: Mary Lu Schlosser, David Campbell Wear, Claudia Lynn Law and James Andrew Wear.
Brother: Leonard King Wear, Jr.

John Campbell Wear

John was inducted into the US Army March 11, 1943 at Fort McClellan, Alabama. When he was honorably discharged November 21, 1945 from Fort Bliss, Texas, he had advanced from the rank of private to the rank of technician fifth grade.

After completion of his basic training, during which he was awarded a Marksman Badge as a rifleman, John was attached to the 352nd Ordnance Maintenance Company, Antiaircraft. On October 4, 1944 he was sent to the European Theater and arrived in England October 12, 1944 for further training.

He was involved in campaigns and battles at Ardennes, Rhineland, and central Europe. These combat areas were included in the Battle of the Bulge.

His family said he never talked about the war, but World War II was the largest air war in history, with the greatest deployment of antiaircraft artillery. In mid-1944, the armed forces in combat fielded about 300,000 antiaircraft guns of varying kinds - numbering seven to eight guns for every front line aircraft - plus a half million soldiers. Another two million troops, like John Wear, played supporting roles to front line fighters. Though not considered a glamorous role, it was extremely dangerous. John's job with the 352nd was to keep antiaircraft weapons maintained in operating condition and supplied with ammunition. They had to use trucks to bring the ammo and maintenance to the front lines, most of the time under observation from German artillery spotters, and consequently subjected to murderous enemy artillery and mortar barrages. Most combat-wise infantrymen cleared the area when the Allied trucks appeared on the scene, because they knew that their appearance would soon bring enemy fire. Additionally, enemy mines always posed a threat and were responsible for thousands of deaths among support units.

John Campbell Wear

John arrived back in the United State June 29, 1945 to accept his honorable discharge.

Medals awarded: Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Battle Stars (for Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland and central Europe), World War II Victory Medal.

Wear was living in Birmingham, Alabama when he entered service. After discharge he moved to Tuscaloosa and entered the University of Alabama, where he earned a law degree. After graduation he moved to Fort Payne and practiced law until his death. He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery.

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