From press reports Many Winston County men and women served during and just after WWII in the uniformed services of the United States.
Most are well known as the Army, Army Air Corp (later to become the Air Force) marines, Navy and Coast Guard. There was an additional uniformed service which was not as well known and many times almost forgotten. This was the United States Maritime Service and was better known as the Merchant Marine. The gateway to becoming a merchant seaman was the U.S. Maritime Service, which ran the training schools for the boys (or men) who wanted to become Merchant Seaman. Winston County was well represented in the Merchant Marine.
Those that some knew of personally (there may be others left out if known to us) are in the following list:
Brothers – “Buddy” Bray – LHS 42, Jack Bray- LHS 41, Jamie Bray – LHS 45, Paul Chambliss- LHS 43 (Chambliss became a Bar Pilot at the mouth of the Mississippi River piloting American and Foreign flagged ships into the river from the Gulf of Mexico), Red Fancher- LHS 42, Charlie Fancher- LHS- 42, Rufus Herrington- LHS 42, Krop Harris – LHS 43 (Harris had his first and only ship torpedoed in the Mediterranean Sea and was injured, picked up at sea and suffered the results of his injuries the rest of his life. He was believed to be the only sailor from Winston County at that time with a lifetime disability.), George McCully- LHS 42, Robert McCully- LHS 45, James Richard “Jimmy” McMillin – LHS 43, Deck Roberts, LHS 43 (McMillin and Roberts were 3rd cousins and always shipped out together), John Pearson, LHS 43, Ross Woods – LHS 43, Norman “Muddy” Rhodes of HighPoint, Clinton Smith – LHS 45, Harry Wallace( ship radio operator), “Dollar” Clay of Claytown, ______ Edwards from Betheden, Buddy Crawford and Pat Hudspeth – LHS 47.
The Winston County Merchant Mariners were spared any casualties during the war but as a uniform service, the Merchant Marine had the highest casualty percentage rate of any branch of the service.
Seamen were promised a Seaman’s Bill of Rights like the GI Bill but it was never provided. Many of the previously listed seamen eventually served in other uniforms as late as the Vietnam era. They served our nation proudly as merchant seamen during and immediately after WWII.
Paul Chambliss and Robert McCully Editor’ s note: Listed dates may either be graduation dates from Louisville High or the period in which attended or participated in football at LHS.
One example of service: McCully On the occasion of the celebration of Veteran’s Day in Winston County, this features one example of the many men and women from Winston County, Mississippi who have answered the call of duty to serve in the uniforms of the USA.
Merchant Seaman Robert M. McCully, a Veteran of WWII by virtue of being in the National Maritime Service following his graduation from LHS in May of 1945. The war ended when he was still in boot camp at St. Petersberg, FL. He shipped out until Aug. 1947 when he started Pre-Vet at Mississippi State.
After 2 years he went to Veterinary School at Iowa State. This was followed by an internship at the Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston. He then volunteered for the veterinary Corp of the US Air force.
He was assigned to Surgery and Radiology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, which is in the grounds of the Walter Reed Medical Center. Studying Veterinary Pathology for the next 6 years he got his boards in the American College of Veterinary Pathology in 1961. He was assigned to the AFIP Collaborative Program for studying foreign Animal diseases and diseased common to man and animals. Collaborating with five colonels in the Army and Air Force and several South African Veterinarians, he published an atlas (CD ROM) on foreign animal diseased in 2006. It has been distributed worldwide.
Colonel McCully finished it at his own expense and has given away all of the copies distributed. Retiring in 1975, Colonel McCully has continued research and write about animal diseases and is considered a world expert on some. The latest book he worked on was in sheep and goat diseases if South Africa completed in 2012. He served proudly as a merchant mariner and in the Air Force. He retired as full Colonel in August 1975 but has kept up his international contacts.
Col. McCully comes from a family of service with his cousins and other family members serving in the military.