World War II Veterans Book: Arice Raymond Newsome

An Excerpt

Arice Raymond Newsome was born December 7, 1922.
He died March 7, 1991.
Father: William Allen Newsome.
Mother: Della (Furgerson) Newsome.
Wife: Edith (McDaniel) Newsome.
Date of marriage: June 22, 1946.
Children: Jerry Raymond Newsome, Michael Aldin Newsome, DeLayne Etherton, Jeffery Lind Newsome.
Brothers: Elmer Theo Newsome.
Sisters: Nokie Newsome, Ruby Brown, Atha Stone, Grace Newsome.

Arice Raymond Newsome

Arice Raymond Newsome

 

Newsome was inducted into the US Army January 28, 1943 and entered active service February 4, at Fort McClellan. When he was honorably discharged November 29, 1945, he had advanced from the rank of private to the rank of private first class.

Pug completed his basic training as a truck driver, and was transferred to Camp Adair in Corvallis, Oregon for advanced training. The camp consisted of 65,000 acres. The site was very suitable for infantry training because the terrain was a mix of flat land and wooded rolling hills. Training grounds, artillery ranges and wooded hills covered almost 65 percent of the camp area. It also included a simulated Japanese village where soldiers practiced for possible future assault on the main islands of Japan. However, when Newsome got his orders for overseas’ duty, it was to the European Theater, assigned to the 633rd Quartermaster Laundry Company, 80th Quartermaster Battalion.

Newsome departed the states December 20, 1943, and arrived in England January 11, 1944. There he continued training for duties that lay ahead after he crossed the English Channel and landed in Normandy. Pug and the 633rd Quartermaster were honing their military skills for a battle that would change the course of the world‐‐the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France. His unit was assigned to support the combat divisions of General Simpson’s US 9th Army, among them the 7th Armored Division.

One might think that a quartermaster soldier would have it easy, away from the war zone. He probably wouldn’t have to dig foxholes, see combat, or smell gunpowder. Almost everything that a soldier wore, carried, or ate on the battle front, was supplied by the Quartermaster Corps. Newsome and his quartermaster unit landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 10, 1944, D-Day plus four. They hit the beaches to unload rations, ammunition, and all types of equipment and supplies. These soldiers opened and ran dumps under combat conditions, used their helmets to wash and shave, and at times took up bazookas, machine guns, and rifles.

The quartermaster units performed every type of truck support for the fighting troops. Supplies were taken up into the front lines and unloaded directly. Most missions were completed under shell-fire and strafing. The trucks were sent out with infantrymen aboard on spearhead thrusts, and when resistance was encountered, the truck drivers often found themselves taking part in the fighting. In emergencies they manned machine guns, carried barbed wire and mines into positions forward, and shared the same rigors and dangers as did the divisional troops.

Among the unusual items furnished by the Quartermaster Corps were special “integrated” roller bearing conveyors, in ten-foot lengths, to land supplies from vessels to the beaches. They furnished heat units to warm their rations, and immersion type water heaters that they could dip in a GI can of water. This procedure would sterilize mess gear, without showing a flame that might give away their position to the enemies.

Newsome and 633rd Quartermaster Company ran a 24-hour-a-day operation during the assault at Normandy, in the breakout at St. Lo, and the rapid pursuit that followed across France in the summer of 1944.

On December 1, 1944, Pug and his unit were located in Eindhoben, Holland, next to the German and Belgium borders, while supporting the 9th Army and the 7th Armored Division. Around noon that day they were working in the mess hall when a lone German bomber came flying low, and dropped a bomb directly on them. The Germans knew that during mid-day the mess hall would be full of men. Nineteen soldiers were killed, eight of them from the 633rd Quartermaster Company. Pug Newsome was seriously wounded by shrapnel and strafing during that attack, and many of his friends and buddies were among the dead. Seven of those who were killed are buried in Margraten, Holland in the US cemetery.

Pug was taken to Edinburgh, Scotland and then on to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he spent the next year in the hospital before being discharged. In addition to shrapnel, and other strafing wounds, he was blinded and lost one eye. He attended a school for the blind in Hartford, Connecticut, and remained until his death. He was truly one of the Greatest Generation.

Medals awarded: Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Battle Stars (for Normandy, Northern France, and Rhineland), World War II Victory Medal.

Newsome left his home in Sylvania to serve his country and returned there after discharge. His wife says he was an unusual person and that there will never be another one like him and the others of the World War II generation. He is buried in the Trinity Methodist (Burnt Church) Cemetery at Sylvania.