Now, most World War II veterans are battling bad knees and fading hearing, but almost 70 years ago they faced German tanks and Italian bullets and Japanese mines.
Many U.S. servicemen were not able to grow old enough to experience arthritis, and some weren’t even able to be properly laid to rest.
Although Jarrold Clovis Taylor’s family had a memorial in September 1944 and a plaque with his name is in the Ector County Cemetery, his body was never there, and for almost 66 years, no one knew where he or any of the other 77 sailors from the USS Flier had gone to rest.
Clovis Taylor was born March 1, 1921, in Electra to J.G. and Beaulah Taylor; he was their first child. Nine more siblings survived to join him during the next 17 years, and his 87-year-old sister Eunice Wittie, now of Stephenville, remembers him well.
"I envied him because he was so good looking, and I was a girl and thought I should be the pretty one," Eunice said. "He was well-liked by everybody."
Newspaper clippings preserved by the family chronicle of some of the awards Clovis received while in high school in Electra, such as most representative boy and president of the freshman class of 1938. He also worked at the movie theater, for the same people who owned the newspaper, and was a member of the Texas National Guard.
"He was a very active person," Eunice said.
In March 1940, Clovis joined the Navy and went to San Diego. During the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, he was on the battleship USS Pennsylvania, which was hit but still able to sail.
During 1942, he saw several battles, including Midway.