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1938 Bellville Football - WWII Veterans Article

The following is the ninth out of a series of articles from The Bellville Times published in 2018. It covered the players who participated in World War II.

The Boys of Fall - 1938 Brahmas - IX

As we approach Veterans Day on November 11th, I feel it is important to look back at the 1938 Brahmas and remember those who served in the Military in World War II. The team members were all born in the early 1920’s, and were destined to become participants by their age. However, the threats of an upcoming war were not on the minds of the young athletes in Bellville during the 1938 season.

In 1938, the buildup to World War II was taking place in Europe and Asia. On September 15, 1938, Adolf Hitler met with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to demand that Czechoslovakia give up a part of its country that contained a large population of Germans to Nazi Germany. Just two weeks later, the leaders of Britain, France, and Italy conceded the Sudentland, believing that they were safe from Hitler’s advance.

Earlier in July 1937, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops escalated into the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Chinese were not well equipped, but kept fighting until the downfall of Japan in 1945. Chinese civilian and military deaths numbered in the millions.

The late 1930’s and early 1940’s saw Hitler continue to expand and occupy other European countries, and in 1940 started the bombing of Britain. In June 1941, the Germans attacked Russia, and Stalin signed a mutual assistance treaty with Britain. Japan had signed a ten-year military pact with German and Italy, expecting their Axis to rule the world.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and on December 8th, the United States declared war on Japan. On December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the United States, and Congress reciprocated the same day with their declaration of war on Germany.

To determine the impact on the team, my father and I surveyed the team roster. Utilizing his memory, I started highlighting the names of those he said had served with a star. When we reached the end of the list, almost every name had a star beside it. I was stunned, amazed, and mostly in awe looking at the list. My next thought, how can I verify and complete this?

I drive by the Austin County Veterans Memorial every day, and decided to spend some time there and see what I could find. Realizing that could take some time, a Google search revealed the information I was looking for. Bingo! The Austin County TXGenWeb Project site contained what I was looking for. A list of the known Austin County World War II Veterans is there for all to see. Using that information compiled by Joy Neely and Carolyn Zaskoda, the following list was compiled with the team members who served with their service information. Please know that this is not a final list, and may contain errors or omissions. If you have any corrections, please let me know.

Player, Rank, Service

Albert, Dalton - Sgt. US Army

Barry, Eugene - Pfc. US Army Hq Co 1st Bat So. Pacific

Barry, James - 1st Sgt US Army Inf Asiatic Pacific

Butler, James - Army Air Corps England - POW Germany

Carpenter, Malcolm - Enl Cpl US Army

Dunn, Jack - Capt 730 Engr Dep US Army Phillipines

Fisher, Clarence - Lt. Us Army Air Corps - lost over New Guinea 10/2/43

Gindorf, Stephen - Cpl US Marine Corps 34d Div Iwo Jima

A. E. Jackson - Pvt US Marine Corps, San Diego CA

Jackson, Billy - US Army Air Corps, 456BG 15th AF - POW Germany

Kamas, Tommie - 1st Lt US Army Air Corps 15th AF Europe