Pfc. Warren Lee Petty with his fiance, Betty Ellison, August 1944.
Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Warren Lee Petty, Private First Class, U.S. Army, 37732706, Killed In Action. He was the son of Charles A. and Mabel E. (Selby) Petty. "In 1902 Charles Petty arrived in the Protection, Kansas area with his parents and brothers, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah. E. Petty, James Grover and Rolla from Clinton, Missouri to make their home in Oklahoma Territory, 18 miles south of Protection. In August 1903, Charles married Mabel E. Selby of Kansas City, Missouri, and they returned to his Oklahoma home where they lived in a two-room dugout until 1911. Seven children were born from 1904 to 1924: Marvin Petty, Selman, Okla.; Wanita Betty Petty (Mrs. Ivel), Ashland, Kansas; Adelia Petty Atkeson (Mrs. Jesse), Wichita, Kansas; M. L. (Bus) Petty, Protection; Lois Petty, Protection; Charles Petty, Jr., Selman, Okla. and Warren Lee Petty, killed in action in World War II in the European area, December 16, 1944. Early in 1944 Charles Petty, Sr., and Mabel moved to Protection." -- Wanita Petty Harvey, CCH, p. 604. (CCH, CCVM, DJHSP)
Above photo: Warren Lee Petty of Comanche County, Kansas, upon his graduation from Protection High School, 1943. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden. View Larger Image.
The Western Star, January 19, 1945.
PFC. WARREN L. PETTY KILLED IN GERMANY
Popular Protection Youth Reported Missing, Then Killed.
The entire Protection community mourns the loss of one of its finest young men, Pfc. Warren Lee Petty, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Petty of Protection.
On Friday, January 5, a telegram was received from the War Department revealing that he was missing in action in Germany since December 16, about the time of the German drive through the fog into Belgium. The following day word came that Warren had been killed in action in Germany on December 20. His last letter, written December 10, stated that his hands were so cold that he could hardly write, and before he could get it folded he had dropped it into the mud, but as time and opportunity to write home were so precious, he sent the letter anyway.
Pfc. Petty was in the 78th Division of General Alexander M. Patch's First Army which bore the brunt of the powerful German drive which blasted breaches in Patch's Siegfried Line defenses. The Germans were supported by big railway guns behind the lines and by armored tanks.
Warren had been a member of reconnaissance, combat and scout patrols which penetrated behind enemy lines. Details concerning his death have not been received.
He attended the rural schools in Harper County, Okla., six years, completing the Seventh and Eighth grades, also four years in the Protection High School, graduating in 1943. He was very popular with his classmates, being president of the Freshman, Junior and Senior classes, sang in the glee clubs and quartets four years and was a leader in athletics and dramatics. In 1942 he was selected by the school and civic groups to represent Protection at the Sunflower State in Wichita.
Warren Lee Petty was born January 19, 1924, near Selman, Okla., and died serving his country on December 20, 1944, at the age of 20 years, 11 months, and one day. He would have been 21 years of age had he lived until Friday of this week.
Although Warren was classified as 2C, being engaged in farming, an essential industry, he wanted to get into the service to do more for his country. Accordingly, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in December, 1943, but it took the third examination before his pulse was near enough normal to be accepted in that branch of the service.
The Dodge City Air Base Commander accepted him as an Air Cadet in February, 1944, and told him to report to his local draft board within a short time. This he did immediately and was sent to Leavenworth to be inducted into the Army February 22, 1944.
On March 9 he was sent to Keesler Field, Biloxi, Miss., for his first training, but as there were more Air Cadets than were then needed, he was sent to Camp Pickett, Va., May 11 and was placed with the infantry, where there was a greater need.
Last August Warren was given a 15 day furlough and while at home became engaged to Miss Betty Ellison, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Ellison of Protection. Miss Ellison is a student in Oklahoma Women's College at Chickasha, Okla.
Warren was shipped overseas the middle of October, 1944, and while receiving additional training was stationed in an old mansion in Bouremouth, England, after which his division was sent to battle section somewhere in Belgium the last of November. During September, 1944, he had been promoted to the rank of Private First Class. A youthful, energetic and brilliant minded soldier, he gave his best that others might live.
Pfc. Petty is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Petty, and by three brothers, Marvin Petty of Selman, Okla., M. L. (Bus) Petty of Protection, and Charles Jr., of Selman, and by three sisters, Mrs. Ivel Harvey and Mrs. Jesse Atkeson of Protection and Mrs. George Jess of Bluff City, Kans., also by a host of friends.
The heartfelt sympathy of all goes out to the sorrowing relatives.
Article contributed by Shirley Brier.
The burial of Pfc. Warren Lee Petty, November 25, 1947.
Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
The Protection Post, December 5, 1947
Rites for Warren Lee Petty
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Petty Sr; Mr. and Mrs. Bus Petty; Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Petty; Mr. and Mrs. Ivel Harvey; Mr. and Mrs. Jess Atkeson; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Petty Jr. went to Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma, Tuesday of last week where burial services were held for Warren Lee Petty whose body had been returned from Europe. He was laid to rest with military honors in the Ft. Gibson military cemetery.
Article contributed by Mary Ehret Holler.
PETTY, WARREN L
PFC US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown - 12/16/1944
DATE OF BIRTH: 01/19/1924
DATE OF DEATH: 12/16/1944
DATE OF INTERMENT: 11/25/1947
BURIED AT: SECTION 4, SITE 2306-A
FT. GIBSON NATIONAL CEMETERY
1423 CEMETERY ROAD, FORT GIBSON , OK 74434
(918) 478-2334 (918) 478-2661
Many bodies were returned from overseas after the war for reburial in home town or national cemeteries. See: Will Return Bodies of Men Killed Overseas, The Western Star , February 7, 1947.
Warren Lee Petty with his older brother, 'Bus' Petty. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Warren Lee Petty with his older brother, 'Bus', and a girl from Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Warren Lee Petty of Comanche County, Kansas, with his fiance, Betty Ellison, August 1944. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Wanita, Warren Lee and Adella Petty of Comanche County, Kansas. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Warren Lee Petty of Comanche County, Kansas, August 1944. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Warren Lee Petty with an Army buddy in England. Photo courtesy of his niece, Gayle (Petty) Harden.
Thanks to Shirley Brier and Mary Holler for transcribing and contributing the above news articles!
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