stepped up to the plate
My father James C “Buck" Hutto was a country
boy from Gaston the only surviving son in a Depression-era family. He
would never own many material things But he helped to save the world.
Before he was my father he was a combat veteran of World War n in the
82nd Airborne Division. His unit, the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
fought some of the toughest battles of the war They jumped into Normandy
on D-Day. They routed German SS troopers, Hitler’s best,' in Nijmegen
Holland to capture a bridge over the Waal River. In December 1944 his
unit fought and lived in file miserable bitter cold and snow for weeks
in order to close fire lines in file Battle of the Bulge near Bastogne
An unpretentious man, he never used his war experiences to proclaim
himself a hero; only a few friends and his wife knew of his distinction
as a soldier. His children were unaware of the magnitude of his sacrifices
and those of his comrades until we were well into middle age
My father epitomized the decent and hardworking men who came back from
that war\. Men whose integrity was based on the combat-forged conviction
that they could depend on their buddies for their lives. Men who understood
the sacred meaning of doing one’s duty and exceeding that to ensure
the success of their mission..
Even after having saved the world they
did not expect the world to owe them a living. Instead they came home
anxious to find work and to be responsible family men.
On this Memorial
Day I think my father would want us to remember his wartime accomplishments
and those of others as testament to the valor of his many friends left
behind in cemeteries all over Europe. Then he would want us to honor
them by enjoying and celebrating American hometown life today. After
all it meant the world to than.
(courtesy of Jon Dials)
marker at Antioch Cemetery
Swansea (Lexington County), South Carolina contains a line of engraving
that reads "Int. at Gaston First Baptist"
(courtesy of "Geezers")
Grave marker at First Baptist
Church Cemetery, Gaston (Lexington County), South Carolina has a small
82d Airborne insignia separating his dates of birth and death. It is
also noted that his wife Marjorie followed him in less than two years
James registered for the draft in
Gaston, SC on 30 June 1942 and enlisted in the Army at Fort Jackson,
Columbia, SC; on 7 December 1942.
James volunteered to become a parachutist
and was assigned to Company I, 508th PIR.
Sgt James C. Hutto received the Bronze
Service Arrowhead device for his participation in the Normandy assault.
He also was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound sustained on
June 29, 1944.