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 - by Bill Hadley oinigj si tonnes HnEjrD Edmund...
by Bill Hadley oinigj si tonnes HnEjrD Edmund Read Dabneygave his life for the freedom of his fellow Americans. T By BILL HADLEY his is the life story of Staff Sgt Edmund Read Dabney as best as I can tell it He was born Dec 24, 1910, in the Ringgold community, the son of Edmund and Elizabeth Donel-son Donel-son Donel-son Dabney. He had one sister, Elizabeth, several years his senior. He was never married. His early years, which I know little about, were spent on the farm. In his teen years, he was fortunate enough to travel a good bit with a wealthy uncle who converted a bus into into a motor home. He traveled extensively extensively out West, including California, , with several young people and relatives. relatives. They must have been happy times for him. In his high school years he received several academic honors, National Honor Honor Society being one of them. He was an excellent athlete but didn't participate participate in organized sports. As he grew into manhood, I became more familiar with him. We lived in Robertson County at the time, and I would come visit in the summer. I remember remember seeing him walk on hjs hands up the front porch steps. He was fairly tall for the times, about G2, a well-built, well-built, well-built, good-looking good-looking good-looking man. I remember remember seeing him swim down at the Ringgold swimming hole. Nobody could beat him. He would climb to the highest point in a sycamore tree that grew out over the creek and do a swan dive. He was good with his hands. He made sailboats and little motorboats out of tin cans and put wind-up wind-up wind-up clock motors motors in them to drive the propellers. By the time he was 20 years bid the Depression hit It was hard to find a job. He tried several One was to go to Detroit and work in an auto factory. It closed. He came home and ran a filling station for a while. He then got a job at Clarksville Airport There he got his airplane mechanic's license and his pilot's pilot's license. By this time in his life, it was about 1935, and he joined the Army. He wanted wanted to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps, but since he was colorblind he was not accepted, so he became a mechanic in the Air Corps. One of the most important things that I remember about him was that he was a good Christian. I never heard him curse. His favorite words were "gosh," "darn" and "gee whiz." He wound up being stationed in California, and we have letters from people who WI,JUIHII.U..I.IU.L.I..IIJ.IIILJIIIJ L.I.LI.IJI.. I IL I f i 1? ... Courtesy of Bill Hadley Edmund Read Dabney. went to church with him expressing their high regard for him He loved California and the ocean. He was transferred to Hawaii, and he loved that too. He told of diving off cliffs and his love for sailing. War clouds started forming, and he was transferred to the Philippines. By this time his mother and father had both passed away so they were spared the awful things that were about to happen to their son. Dec 7, 1941, found him in the Philippines Philippines with nothing much to fight with. My mother received a letter from him in which he said he was full of assurance assurance and determination that they would be successful. It was not to be. He was an expert marksman, so I'm sure he got his share of them before he was captured. captured. Our country was not prepared to de-... de-... de-... fend itself. We must never let that hap-pen hap-pen hap-pen again. The commander of the troops slipped out of the country and left them to fend for themselves. They simply ran out of ammunition. He was captured and was in the Bataan death march, which has been documented as being full of all kinds of atrocities. He survived, and was placed in Camp No. L He lived through the inhumane treatment treatment for about two years. He was , j(M' A' rAM.-. rAM.-. rAM.-. i x3L Aax tP4 . . ,J A a re ..Ta s&L jJjA& -i- -i- -i- 26$, -Tyji?tvu -Tyji?tvu . . - . ; jrt ft jo. A la y tuU-i tuU-i tuU-i -7twr-c- -7twr-c- -7twr-c- -7twr-c- -7twr-c- .MJ&jtc.. St Contributed copy A copy of a letter from Edmund Read Dabney to his sister, written on Feb. 22, 1942, from the Philippines. Parts of the letter were censored by the Army. about 33 years old at this time, which would make him one of the eldest prisoners. prisoners. I know he encouraged and helped many of the younger prisoners. In September 1944, he was put on a ship bound for Japaa In October 1944 my mother received notification from the War Department that the ship he was on was sunk and all were lost It goes on to say that he stands in the unbroken unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Free dom lives in a way that humbles the undertakings of men. He was a strong Christian and touched many lives. He certainly ' touched mine. I believe if he had lived through the war that he would have forgiven them for what they had done to him. This is his life as best I can remember remember it Bill Hadley, a nephew of Edmund Read Dabney, wrote this story on July 25, 2003, for a dedication ceremony for the Dabney Building on Madison Street,

Clipped from
  1. The Leaf-Chronicle,
  2. 03 Feb 2004, Tue,
  3. Page 19

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