Born on April 21, 1924, in Colleton County, South Carolina, to Pauline and Charles Alister Witsell, Charles, Jr., grew up on Hampton Street in Walterboro. He attended the public schools of Walterboro. After graduating from Walterboro High School in 1941, he attended the Porter Military Academy for one year before entering The Citadel at the beginning of the 1942-43 academic year with the Class of 1946. He was a Cadet Private Fourth Class in Company M of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.
Charles enlisted in the service on July 30, 1943 at Fort Jackson. Originally volunteering for the Army Air Corps, he was rejected because of defective vision. In August, 1943, he volunteered for infantry service, and received his basic training at Anniston, Alabama. He was sent overseas, first to Africa, then to the Anzio beachhead. He served overseas for several months in the medical corps prior to his death. He took part in the drive on Rome, Italy, and was killed in action on May 26, 1944 between Anzio and Rome.
Private Witsell was buried at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy. After the war, Charles’ body was repatriated to the United States. On Wednesday, September 1, 1948, he was laid to rest at Live Oak Cemetery in Walterboro. He was survived by his parents, a brother, John Mitchell Witsell, III,; a sister, Constance Witsell Simmons, and his grandmother, Emma J. Witsell, all of Walterboro.
Photo courtesy of The Citadel Archives and Museum, Charleston, South Carolina
The State, Columbia, S.C., August 31, 1948, p.7b.
1940 United States Federal Census
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
U.S. Rosters of WWII Dead, 1939-1945
The Lair 1940, Walterboro High School
National Archives and Records Administration
Yearbooks of Colleton County
On August 9, 1924, Vestal Malone was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba to Mrs. Claire Gerbaulet Malone and Mr. William Adolphus Malone. During his youth, he lived in Cuba, Central America, Colombia, Brazil and the Argentine where his father, an American and Power Executive developed extensive electrical programs in those countries. He graduated from Orlando Senior High in 1941 and entered The Citadel with the Class of 1945 later that year.
On November 30, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after basic training joined the 106th Infantry Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina as it prepared to deploy to the European Theater. He was assigned to Company “G”, 424th Infantry Regiment.
The 106th Division was only five days on the line when the Germans attacked it in the Schnee-Eiffel / Ardennes at the German-Belgium border on December 16, 1944. Two of the Division’s three regiments were surrounded and forced to surrender. Over 7000 GI’s of the 106th (more…)