by Larry Hume, VFW Post 8904, Center, Texas
Clifford Gary was born in Shelby County, Texas on February 8, 1925. The 1930 Shelby County Census listed his father as Harold (occupation farmer), mother Alma and two sisters, Bonnietta and Cora Jean. His military record shows 4 years of high school but I’m not sure which one.
He enlisted in the Army from Camp Wolters, Texas on April 26, 1944 at the age of 19. Clifford fought with the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division at the “Battle of Reipertswiller, France that lasted from January 14th – 20th, 1945. On the morning of the 14th, the 157th Infantry Regiment launched a counterattack against the penetrating Germany forces that would last for last for seven grueling days. While the German penetration was stopped, the regimental casualties were the heaviest of any single battle of the war. Seven company commanders, thirty platoon leaders and some six hundred other valiant soldiers were either killed, wounded or captured during this tragic operation. Two men, both privates were the only ones who successfully escaped. Among those taken prisoner was Clifford Gary.
On January 21st, 1945 Corporal Clifford Gary found himself as a Germany Prisoner of War. He was 20 years of age and had been in the US Army less than 1 year. He was assigned to the Germany Camp Stalag 11B, Fallingbostel Prussia and remained there until his release 17 months later on June 11, 1946.
Clifford returned to civilian life and passed on October 23, 1997. He is buried in the Youngblood Cemetery, Beckville, Texas.