Click for pdf image
(Photo courtesy James A. Gamblin)
Grave marker for James E. Able and his wife Alice who
preceded him in death. Note that at the time this photo was taken,
Jim's date of death had yet to be engraved.
The grave site is in the Tool Cemetery, Tool
(Henderson County), Texas. The town is located SSE of Dallas.
James E. Able, 508 PIR combat veteran, died
at Hendrick Hospice Care center in Abilene, Texas Nov. 4, 2008. He was
Mr. Able was born May 8, 1921 in Neon, Ky., the son of coal miner
George Lester Able and Beatrice Tennessee (Cuzzort) Able. After high
school in Chattanooga, Tenn., Mr. Able attended Warren Wilson College
near Ashville, N. C. before joining the Civilian Conservation Corps. He
enlisted in the U.S. Army Cavalry in 1940 and was stationed at Camp
Bowie near Brownwood, Texas when World War II erupted.
Mr. Able soon transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division, 508
Parachute Infantry Regiment, which jumped into Normandy in the pre-dawn
hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. Able’s regiment captured key crossroads
and bridges, securing the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first French
town liberated by Allied Forces.
Among the combat honors awarded to Mr. Able for his service are the
Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart,
While at Camp Bowie, Mr. Able met and married Alice Louise Monk of
After his discharge from the Army, Mr. Able was a printer for 23
years, working at a number of newspapers, including the Abilene Reporter
News, the Fort Worth Press and the Dallas Times Herald.
Mr. Able later worked for the City of Plano as a building inspector
before retiring to Cedar Creek Lake near Tool, Texas. in 1986.
Mr. Able, who was a member of the Texas Rangers Old-Timer
Professional Baseball Association, was a long-time Little League and
Pony League coach and umpire in Abilene and Fort Worth. He also
was a Boy Scouts of America Scout Master and served in a number of
leadership roles in church youth groups.
Mr. Able was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6873 in
Abilene, the World War II Club at Rose Park Senior Citizens center and
the Disabled American Veterans Association.
He was a member of Abilene Seventh-Day Adventist Church and was a
former member of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
His first wife died in 1990 and their son, Elbert Boyd Able died in
In 2001 Mr. Able married Jean Hughes Able of Abilene and they made
their home in Abilene until his death.
Mr. Able is survived by his wife; son, James A. Able and
daughter-in-law Denise of Hemet Calif.; son Charles Able and
daughter-in-law Tamara of Lakewood, Colo.; step-son Tom M. Good of
Cleburne, Texas; step-daughters Paula Allen of Waco, Texas, and Kathryn
Good of Los Angeles, Calif.; nine grandchildren and 12
Memorial donations may be sent to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1682
Hickory, Abilene, Tex., 79601.