Joseph P. Helm
The following text was provided by Joseph's son, Joe Jr.
Biography: Joseph P. Helm was born on March 24, 1920 in Graves County in the town of Fancy Farm, Kentucky. He was the son of William Donald Helm (age 42) and Sophrinia Alice Thompson (age 35). He was the sixth child born to William and Alice. He had four brothers, Tony, Wilbur, Midge, and Leo, and three sisters Benita. Aline, and Judy. He worked as a sawmill operator, owned a small taxi company in Mayfield, Kentucky however his primary occupation was as a carpenter.
While stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on October 4th 1943 Joe married Georgia Bea Alderdice also from Graves County. Georgia was the daughter of Charles A. Alderdice and Hattie Boyd Reeves. Joe and Georgia made their home at 410 Oak Street in Mayfield, Kentucky. Joe and Georgia would have three children, a son Joseph Jr., (1945) and daughters Jenny (1946), and Mary Youlanda (1951). His wife Georgia died August 17th, 1952, on Davy Crockett’s Birthday at the very early age of 28 from gall bladder complications.
Service Time: Sgt. Joseph Paul Helm was inducted into the United Sates Army in October 1941 in Louisville, Kentucky and discharged December 9th, 1945. He left for Europe December 10, 1944 and arrived December 19, 1944. He departed Europe to return home to the USA on November 21, 1945 and arrived home on December 1, 1945. His son Joseph Paul Helm Jr. born January 14, 1945, also served in the United States Army from 1963-1966. His military occupation was Dental and Medical Technician, and his last year of service 1965-1966 was with 7th Infantry Battalion, Camp Casey, South Korea.
Joseph Paul Helm, Army Serial Number 35-109-141, DOB March 24, 1920, Place of Birth Fancy Farm, Kentucky, Brown Eyes, Brown Hair, 5’ 11”, 179 lbs. he was Honorably Discharged from the United State Army December 9, 1945, from Fort Knox, Kentucky. Sargent Helm served the United States Army a total of four years, two months, and two days, 11 months and 22 days was in in the Rhineland Central Europe during World War II.
Sergeant Helm’s Battles and Campaigns where listed as Rhineland and Central Europe. His Military Occupation was Anti-Tank Gun Crewman 610, with Driver and Mechanic Badge – T (for tracked vehicles). He was a member of the 605th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Company “A”. Sergeant Helm received the following citations for his service in the United States Army.
Sergeant Helm received the World War II Victory Medal awarded to any member of the United States military who served on active duty, or as a reservist, between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946. He received the World War II Victory Medal, the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the American Theater Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Medal with two Bronze Service Stars which recognize his participation in campaigns at Rhineland: 15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45; and Central Europe: 22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45.
Joe was discharged from the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky on December 9, 1945 his service rank at discharge was Sergeant. At the time of his discharge he also received the Honorable Service Lapel Button (nicknamed the Ruptured Duck).
Joe returned to Kentucky to work as a carpenter and worked several years for the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) constructing the Kentucky Dam at Gilbertsville, KY, before the passing of his wife Georgia, August 1952. In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening. He was a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mayfield, KY. Sergeant Helm passed away at the Heinz VA Hospital in Heinz, Illinois in December of 1992 at age 72. He is buried in the St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery in Mayfield, KY.
I want to thank Joe’s son, Joseph Paul Helm Jr., for his military service and for providing the text and photographs used in this tribute.