Archive for June, 2016

We are sad to report that we have lost another of our original group of five 111th survivors: Ray Cross of Michigan. His son Terry Cross shared the news with us a few days ago; Ray’s funeral was this past Saturday, with burial with military honors following. Ray was 97 years old. Ray shared many great stories of the 111th with us (in particular the video interviews that Terry conducted with him) over the past three years. Ed posted three of those interviews (Wales, France, and Holland) on YouTube, where you can watch them today. For the first one, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7woMLN8ImM

Ray Cross WWII Army

Ray Cross during the war

Still with us, thankfully, are 111th veterans Art Brooks, John Raisler, and Osborne Eastwood. Roger Rickon passed away in 2014.

Ray was originally with the 66th Ordnance Company when the war began, serving as a light truck mechanic with the U.S. Army in Iceland for nearly two years. He was transferred to the 111th when it moved to Wales in the winter of 1944. His rank was T-3, and he was a platoon sergeant in the section that repaired light trucks and jeeps. During the Normandy invasion, he drove a half-track off one of the LCTs onto Omaha beach in early June 1944.

After the war, Ray returned to Michigan and married Margaret Stockwell in June 1946. Margaret passed away in 2014; they were married for 67 years.

Ray was a farmer while their four children grew up, and he later started his own logging company, retiring in 1981. Back in the the 1920s when he was a boy in rural Michigan, Ray went to school in a one-room schoolhouse; however, he made sure his four children all went to college. Today, three of them have doctoral degrees and all work in the education field.

We send our sympathy and condolences to the Cross family. We will miss him.

 

Advertisements