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Private Clyde V. Hill
Company C, 119th Regiment
30th 'Ole Hickory' Division
Clyde Hill is my Uncle who did not serve in Italy, but I thought his story should be told. His experience must be the typical example of many of the troops who were rushed into combat to replace the fallen soldiers. After reaching the enlistment age, Clyde joined the Army, completed training, went into combat, was wounded and returned back home---all within about 1 year. Compare that to my Dad who trained for more than a year and was already a sergeant by the time he shipped overseas. Here is his story.
Private Clyde Hill was the youngest of my Mother's brothers, and was too young to enlist when the war began. He was notified to report for his Army physical on May 3, 1944. After about 6 months training, he was sent over as a replacment in the 119th Regiment of the 30th 'Ole Hickory' Division(not positive about his company listed above).
In March 1945, outside of Essens, Germany, he was walking down a river bank in an area where a German machine gun crew lay in ambush. After some of the platoon had already passed by out of danger, the German machine gun waited until Private Hill's squad were really close and opened fire. The machine gun fire hit him and others in his group. The German gunner would have finished them off except that the gun was on an overhead railroad bridge and could not depress the barrel low enough to hit them.
Private Hill lay in the river bank with injuries to his head, upper left back, left arm and wrist, right hip to knee, right calf, and right ankle. He said he could clearly see the gunner trying to get a better shot at them. He said he would have bled to death from all his wounds except that the freezing cold temperatures kept the bleeding down. He was transferred to a hospital, probably in Paris, where major surgery was performed on him. Documents from his files show that Private Hill was awarded the Purple Heart on 28 March 1945 while at the 48th Field Hospital, along with 12 other soldiers injured on that same date. He eventually was shipped back to the States. While he was in recorvery at Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, GA, he was promoted to Private First Class by an order dated 18 July, 1945.
Private Clyde Hill's damaged Watch and Bullet fragments.
This is the watch Private Hill wore on the day he was wounded and it was knicked by a bullet.
The bullet fragments were some of the slugs recovered from his wounds and is encased in resin.
After the War
Clyde recovered from his wounds but remained on disability status, as he walked with a leg brace. Mr. Hill married Doris Parker and settled in Grenada, MS. He farmed as well as operated a John Deere implement company in the city. He has 3 children, 9 grand-children and 1 great-grandchild. Clyde Hill still lives in Grenada but suffers from alzheimer's disease.
Clyde Hill passed away on March 8, 2011.
If you knew Clyde Hill and would like more information, you may email me at Steve Cole.
See also the biography of his brother, Private Jimmy Hill, 36th Division and his brother-in-law, S/Sgt. N. F. Cole, 85th Division.
The Hill Family before the War
A group photo of the entire family during happier times. Clyde is sitting to the right of his sister, Lillibeth (my Mom). Standing behind their parents are the older borthers; Joel and Jimmy.
There is no other known photo of the Hill family taken together after this date. The War would bring long years of seperation. Even though all survived the war, their father died before they could all be reunited again.
Joel married Michie Ayres and worked at the Navy Ship Yard. Go to biography of Michie's brother, Rivers Ayres.
Jimmy served in the 36th Infantry Division and was captured during the landing at Salerno. Go to biography of Jimmy Hill.
Lillibeth would marry Newton F. Cole, who served in the 85th Infantry Division, 328 Field Artillery Battalion. Go to NF Cole's biograpy.
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