WHEN DUTY CALLED
When duty called, men from Limestone County, Alabama responded. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, that’s all they needed to know. Most of them farm boys and some of them sons of merchants, kissed pretty wives and sweethearts goodbye and boarded ships, turned green with the rolling seas and sailed for places with exotic-sounding names. Not a single one knew if he’d make the return trip….
These remembrances of World War II are excerpts from When Duty Called. They were a natural outgrowth of the reverence Barksdale held as a child for his Uncle James Burch, a WWII veteran:
“At my insistence, he would climb the ladder into the attic, open his dusty Army footlocker, and bring down his war relics for me to see. I remember a German Luger, bayonet, Hitler Youth dagger, a large Nazi banner and various medals. Uncle James used the dagger each fall when he butchered hogs. Of course I understood nothing of the cause, nor immensity of the war that consumed 50 million lives worldwide. I only knew that Uncle James was my hero. He still is today.
“He finally told me his story on the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. He told me he had served four years in the Navy, most of the time aboard the battleship U.S.S. Oklahoma, which later went down at Pearl Harbor. He was discharged from the Navy in 1940 and then drafted into the Army. He served in the Third Army under Gen. George S. Patton, who pinned him with the Bronze Star. I was hooked. I wrote his story and it was published in our local newspaper.
You can purchase this book online and have it shipped or you can purchase them at the Veterans Museum in Athens, Alabama.
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Available at these local locations
Alabama Veteran’s Museum & Archives
Pablo’s On Market – 256-216-8464