PFC Alvin Merle Hewitt
415th Infantry, Timberwolf Division, Company K
KIA 24 March, 1945 at Brungsberg, Germany
Buried in Nowata Memorial Cemetery, Nowata, OK
The Father of Charli Greenlees (Charlotte Merlene Hewitt) and Elizabeth Arlene (Hewitt) York
-- Charli Greenlees (formerly Charlotte Merlene Hewitt) --
Merle Hewitt was born 20 June 1920 in Delaware, Oklahoma, one of eleven children born to Wilmot Newton and Dovie Lee (Royer) Hewitt. He was their third son.
Daddy was an above average student who excelled in spelling while attending school in Rogers County and received a Certificate of Perfect Attendance on more
than one occasion. He was a typical boy who was "inclined to mischief" as noted on one of his report cards.
Prior to enlisting in the Army, he worked at Whitford Mercantile and lived in Nowata, Oklahoma, with his wife, Pearl Naomi (Lakey) Hewitt and two daughters,
Charlotte Merlene and Elizabeth Arlene. I have photos of family gatherings (although I cannot remember them) at either our grandparents or great grandparents
with all of Daddy's brothers and sisters and their families. There is one photo that I especially treasure of Daddy, Mother, my sister and I at one of the gatherings.
Daddy entered the Army on 5 April 1944 and was originally in Company B, 113th Battalion, 78th Infantry Training Regiment. He was in Company K, 415th Infantry, Timberwolf
Division when he was killed in action on 24 March 1945 in Brungsberg, Germany. At the time of his death at age 25, Mother was 22 years old. I (Charlotte Merlene) was
almost three and my sister, Elizabeth Arlene was just one. It was very difficult growing up in our small town being one of the few, or so it seemed, families without a father.
Mother did her best and we spent a lot of the weekends and most holidays surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Mother did not remarry until mid-1950.
Daddy was originally interred in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. In 1947, at Mother's request, his body was finally returned to the United States.
Staff Sgt. Kermit L. McDonald accompanied Daddy's body from Kansas City to Nowata, Oklahoma, where his funeral was held with his widow, two daughters and numerous relatives,
friends and townspeople in attendance. He has now rested in the Nowata Memorial Cemetery for over 60 years. Memorial Day was always a big holiday in our family. We would all
meet at the cemetery to place flowers and flags on the gravesites of our loved ones and then have a big potluck dinner afterwards. The older relatives would reminisce about
"the good old days" and those no longer with us while all the children had a lot of fun playing with cousins they might see only once a year.
On 16 June 1945 Daddy was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart by Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, for military merit and for wounds received in action resulting in death.
Mother received the Purple Heart for him and my sister and I received Purple Heart pins engraved with our initials. When Mother passed away in 1994, Daddy's Purple Heart was
passed to me as the oldest child. I will always treasure it as a remembrance of my Father who died before I was old enough to remember him, but died serving our country and
helping to keep it free for future generations.
I will always wonder what our lives would have been like had he lived to enjoy them with us and hope that he knows how much we appreciate his sacrifice.