Tech 5 Annon I. Bozeman
Cannon Company, 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division
KIA 28 February 1945
at Blatzheim, Germany
-- Annon Bozeman Jr. --
My father was born on October 11, 1918, near the end of the First World War. He died serving his country near the end of the Second World War.
The oldest of seven children, my father worked hard on the family farm. Although he finished his formal schooling at the end of the third grade,
he was adept at working on things mechanical and could be called upon to use and repair cars, tractors and most any type of machinery. He once
"borrowed" a County bulldozer left on a jobsite near the farm, using it on the weekend to clear several acres of land for additional crops. By
the age of 17, he was employed with the Works Progress Administration working on road and bridge construction projects and at 19 was working in
the cotton mills of central Georgia, always sending his wages home to help support his parents and siblings.
He was drafted soon after the first call up and entered active duty with the Army in January 1941. His mother died in July of 1941. Because
his father was suffering from an old injury which prevented him from a lot of heavy work on the farm, the Red Cross was asked to petition the Army
for my father's release on a hardship discharge so he could help with the farm work. Fate intervened in the form of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
and all such discharges were canceled. At the end of December 1941, he and my mother were married. They had met working in the cotton mills together.
During 1942 and into early 1943, his unit went through extensive training in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico in preparations for deployment to
Africa and the fight against the Germans there. By the time their training was over, the African campaign was winding down and they were reassigned
to the invasion of Europe. He suffered a ruptured appendix in the summer of 1943 and was sent home to recuperate. He also endured the occasional
kidney stone which seems to affect most of us Bozeman men.
In November of 43, his unit transferred to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and in early December they sailed from New York aboard the S.S. Columbie, a former
French liner and the Liberty Ship, S.S. Bienville for Europe, arriving in Ireland on December 15th. My grandfather died in April 1944 and since he was
overseas, my father didn't get to come home for the funeral. His unit went ashore at Utah Beach - not on D-Day - and fought the Germans across France,
Belgium, and Germany. In early January of 1945, he was in Paris for some "R&R" after the Battle of the Bulge was over. Then it was back to the front
and into Germany where enemy artillery fire fell on his unit at Blatzheim, Germany. Here my father and seven others were killed on the 28th of February
Like many "war orphans," I never saw my father, except in pictures. He only saw me the same way. His brothers and sister and my mother have told me
a wealth of stories about him through the years and it has helped create within me a mental image of him. He was a good, hard working family man with
a sense of pride and a dedication to loved ones. His childhood was short because of demands placed on him which were out of his control, but he never
complained about it. He did what had to be done and never wavered in his resolve to help his family in any way he could do it.
Your loving son, Annon