ERNEST J. PRATT Sergeant, Vermont Guard, Co. K, 124th Inf., 31st Inf. Div.
Ernest J. Pratt was born on 16 Mar 1918 of Ernest Peter Pratt and Hazel F. Devino who lived at 55 North Ave, Burlington, VT. In the 1920 census we find him with his parents and 1 brother at 48 North Ave. His father was a locomotive fireman on the railroad. In the 1930 census we find the parents with 6 children at 48 No. Avenue. The father has the same job. In the 1940 census we find the mother, a widow, at 340 North Bend Street with 5 sons and 2 daughters. One son was Ernest. His father died on 5 Oct 1935.
On his 16 Oct 1940 Draft Card we see that he is age 22, living at 340 North Bend St., working for the W.P.A. as is his mother, and he is 160 lbs, ruddy complexion, hazel eyes and black hair and 5 ft 11 ¼ inches tall.
Ernest enlisted as a single person in the National Guard as a Private on 24 Feb 1941 svc no. 20151444; his height was 69 inches and weight was 142 lbs. His occupation was “Semiskilled occupations in production of industrial chemicals”.
WWII Hospital admission: May 1945 age 28 Battle Casualty. Wound in head and thorax generally caused by a fragment of a hand grenade.
Released from Hospital: Corp. Ernest J. Pratt was released on Oct 3 1943 after having been seriously wounded in action in July, in the South Pacific area. Awarded the Purple Heart medal.
On 8 Aug 1944 in the Free Press, he has been promoted to Sergeant. He is stationed in the South Pacific with Co. K of the Vermont National Guard.
Killed in Action: A veteran of the Guadacanal, Munda and New Georgia islands campaigns and the Marcus and Netherlands East Indies; Sgt. Ernest Pratt was killed in action on Mindanao. He graduated from Nazareth School in 1933 and he also was a survivor of the sinking of the USS Coolidge off the shore of New Caledonia. Ernest served as a Sergeant, Company K, 124th Infantry, 31st Infantry Division, U.S. Army during World War II.
HEADSTONE APPL: For Mt Calvary cemetery. States that he enlisted on 23 Dec 1940. File by his mother Hazel living at 326 North Bend St, Burlington, VT
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.