PVT Ishmael Mansfield Love
First Army, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
KIA 17 January, 1945 in the Ardennes
Buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Belgium
-- Bertie Joyce Love Crosslin --
Dad was the 4th of five children born to Ishmael M. Love, Sr., and Bertie Westerman Love. He had two brothers, Tommie Warren Love and Wiley Houston Love, and two sisters, Audrey
Lucille Love Smith and Mary Elizabeth Love Knight. They all lived in the small town of Aetna, Tennessee, in Hickman County. His mother died shortly after his youngest brother was
born, and his father died five years later. Dad and his two brothers then lived with their paternal grandmother, Ellena Guin Love, on her farm. His two older sisters left home to
Dad started school in a one-room schoolhouse that was destroyed by a tornado his first year. A small four-room school was then built where he finished the 8th grade and completed
two years at the Aetna-Brushy Junior High School there in Aetna, Tennessee. Dad and Mom grew up and attended school together in this small town outside Centerville, Tennessee.
Dad married his hometown sweetheart, LaVerne O'Guin, and I was born in 1940. Dad was only 17 years old and Mom was 18. We moved to Sylacauga, Alabama, where Dad found a job working
in a mill. He was drafted into the Army in 1944, and went to Camp Croft, South Carolina, for basic training. In December, 1944, he was shipped overseas and sent directly to the
frontline. He was reported missing on January 17, 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge, also called the Battle of the Ardennes. Dad was 21 years old, and I was four!
During the war, Dad's maternal grandmother, Mrs. Wylie Westerman, had five grandsons all in the war at one time. Dad was the only grandson who didn't live to return home. Dad's
older brother, Tommie, was in the 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion during the war, and was in a hospital in England when Dad was killed.
Dad's nickname as a child was "Friday," and his family and friends always remembered him by that name. Mom and his family kept his memory alive for me with tales from his life.
Mom said I was just as stubborn as he was. She said you couldn't tell him what to do, but you could ask him for help, and he would do anything for you. I guess he proved that by
answering his country's call and giving his all. I know I would have loved knowing him.
Dad has two granddaughters, Cathy and Carol, and one grandson, Jeff, and now has six great grandchildren, Brittany, Dana, Jake, Cali, Savannah, and Cade. He definitely left a legacy
from his short life. His oldest granddaughter, Cathy, and her husband, Todd Steen, were the first to visit his grave in Henri-Chapelle in Belgium. My husband, Hugh Crosslin, and I
made the trip on October 18, 2001, just one month after 9-11. What an emotional time, but what a beautiful place. The people there were wonderful and so gracious.
I have always wondered what my life would have been like had my Dad lived, and I guess I always will. As I look at my children and grandchildren, I wish we could have shared our lives
with him, but I think God had different plans for us. I hope Dad knows that we still think of him and wonder.