T. (Jim) Wynne was was born July 30, 1922 in Battleboro, North Carolina a
farming community and was raised on a tobacco farm in Red Oak.
His life of simple, rural, perhaps even rustic living, was changed
dramatically when he volunteered to become a paratrooper. He had joined the Army
at Camp Croft, South Carolina in October
1942 and never dreamed
that he would be back at that same camp on maneuvers in a few short
Unwittingly, Jim's enlistment timing was just in time to join up with the
508th as it began basic training in Camp Blanding, Florida. Whatever
Jim had thought life would be like in the Army undoubtedly underwent
significant change as the rigors of basic, especially Airborne basic, was
"Driven" is probably a poor choice of wording since as Jim recalls,
"we ran everywhere we went and it didn't matter what we were doing, where
we were going or why we were going there ... we ran. Man, did we
Jim also recalled, "Our days were
busy. When we were not learning how to be soldiers, the cadre administered
the airborne school program. It [also] included ... calisthenics,
hand-to-hand combat and the many unique ways designed by the cadre to
stress our capabilities."1
Jim proudly completed basic and, with his peers, made the journey to Ft.
Benning where they learned to jump from an aircraft in flight ... and they
did it five times ... to earn the coveted jump wings of a parachutist.
Jim became a
machine gunner in the HQ 1st Company where he served until his discharge
on October 13, 1945. He jumped into Normandy as part of Operation Neptune
and then into Holland in Operation Market-Garden. He also fought in
Belgium during the Battle of The Bulge.
A self-professed "pack rat" who "saved everything", we thank Jim for his generosity, and
his trust, by loaning us his sizeable photo album to be scanned and
presented for your enjoyment herein.