|Hellums, Judge C. (773rd)|
|People - Honorees|
Judge C. Hellums
Biography: Judge Clayton Hellums was born in 1916 in the state of Mississippi and lived in Calhoun County. He was known by his middle name, Clayton.
Service Time: Clayton joined the service on April 30, 1941 and would be assigned to the 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. It would be Oct. 9, 1944, in and action near Foret de Parroy, in the
The following text is from an Associated Press Article about Clayton and his remains being returned to the U.S.
SAREPTA, Miss. (AP) — When Cpl. Judge Clayton Hellums' remains are buried Saturday, it will have taken 66 years to the day for him to be laid to rest.
Hellums had joined the Army before World War II began, partly to serve his country, partly to have an income during the Great Depression. At age 28, he was killed Oct. 9, 1944, in the Foret de Parroy, in the
"That tank destroyer took a direct hit; you had not only the rocket itself, but you had all the fuel for the tank engine," said Larry Hellums, a nephew who has known his eldest uncle only through family stories.
Hellums, who went by Clayton rather than his odd first name, was one of three of the five crew members who died. The survivors didn't remember enough about the attack even to know where they had been.
His mother got a letter saying no recoverable remains were found.
All that began to change four years ago.
Dwight Hellums — Larry's father and Clayton's brother — got a call saying a dog tag had been found with Clayton's name on it. Larry, having learned that such openings are often used to scam survivors' families, urged him to hang up, but a few days later another call clarified that the ID was a bracelet with "Martha" on the side opposite from the soldier's name and serial number.
"Very few people outside the family know my uncle was engaged to a lady named Martha," Larry Hellums said. "That information changed everything."
The family was invited to
"The French of the
Another relative, the Rev. Billy McCord, pastors the church and will conduct the service.
"I'm going to do the part that the minister does, and then I'm going to move back and the military will take over," he said. "It's an intriguing story. One of the good things that can come out of this is that we don't forget them — even 66 years later."
For the whole family, the service will serve as a closure that was denied to them before.
"Clayton was kind of an empty spot in the family; he had been the eldest son, a hardworking man," Larry Hellums said. "He was interested in joining the military partly because it meant a job, but he made a good soldier from everything I can tell."
|Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 21:18|