TEC 5 Orville C. Galloway
300th Engineer Combat Battalion, U.S. Army
MIA 19 June 44 in the English Channel
-- Doris Galloway Hutson --
Orville C. Galloway, like so many young men at the time, left his family and home to serve his country not knowing
that life for him and his family would never again be the same.
My father was born in Flippin, Arkansas on April 29, 1920. He grew up in Higden, Arkansas, the son of Irving & May Galloway.
He met my mother, Johnnie Lee Frederick, in 1941 and they married in March of 1942. They moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana,
where my father was a carpenter by trade, until he went into the Army in 1943.
When my father joined the Army in March 1943, my mother was four months pregnant with me. I know that it was very hard for
both of them to be torn apart at such a crucial time, expecting their first child and having only been married a short 12 months.
My father was stationed at Camp White, Oregon with Company B, 300th Engineer Combat Battalion before being sent to England in
October 1943. He got a few days of leave in August 1943, to return home when I was born. I have a picture of him holding me
outside the hospital where I was born. That was the one and only time we were ever together. My mother kept every letter my
father wrote to her during that time and I now have the letters to keep and pass on to my children one day. In reading the
letters I realize how very much my dad loved and missed my mother and me. I have the last letter written just two days before
he became "missing in action" in the English Channel. In this letter he spoke of how much he looked forward to coming home and
wanted to be there for Christmas, so we could all go get a tree together.
Several months after my mother had been notified that my father was missing, she received a letter from The Adjutant General's
Office stating that it was confirmed that he was aboard an LST ship which sunk off the coast of France, presumably by enemy mines.
That information is all we received regarding the events of his death. I have always wondered how it would have been growing up
and knowing my father. When I was a kid I would think that maybe one day he would come back telling us he had been held captive or
maybe had just been wounded and wasn't able to get in touch with us for awhile. I am sure there are many AWON members who have
thought exactly the same thing. My mother chose never to remarry. She always said my dad held the key to her heart and it was
lost in the English Channel with him. She talked about him often and I felt in many ways I really did know him.
I have had the opportunity to visit the American cemeteries in Cambridge, England and Normandy, France on two occasions since I
have been an adult. It is an experience I will never forget. My father is listed on the "Tablets of the Missing" at Cambridge.
I hope to return there again one day to visit his memorial once more. I wish my mother could have had the opportunity to visit
his memorial as well; however, it wasn't until I made my first visit to Normandy that we knew he was listed on the Tablets of the
Missing in Cambridge. My mother was in poor health by then and unable to make the trip.
I have always been proud of my father for giving his life to defend our country. What greater gift could a person give for his
family, his friends and his homeland?