Family, personal

Genealogy is Fun!

Genealogy is exciting stuff. My brother-in-law Bill Till has gotten me started. He has put together an impressive collection of genealogical information on I’m in the process of filling in some of the pieces, particularly as they relate to photos and stories. One of the really valuable resources is the “A Family Called Skinner” book my cousin Julia Skinner McLean produced in the 1980’s–a real testament to a time when cut and paste literally meant scissors and tape. The book is filled with genealogical information, but, more important to me, it is also filled with the stories of these people. The research can come up with most of the connections that tie us to the past. What it can’t do is tell us how our ancestors lived and if they were characters filled with humor and laughter or serious work. This book helps fill that void. Below is the story of my father, Clark  Watts. It is short and needs so much more information as the “War years” lasted only a short time and the many years of being raised in Miller, Alabama, the years–and I mean many years–raising a family, the time after retiring–all that is a story still not told. But this is a wonderful place to start:

Clark Ethelred Watts: saw continuous service in World War II. He was assigned to the 544th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. A demolition specialist and light truck driver, his basic training was on the beaches of Florida. His Company was the first to invade and liberate Luzon from the Japanese in the Philippine Islands. From there he was sent to Manila. He was among the first troops to 1and on the shore of Wakayama, Honshu, Japan. For his service he was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon, New Guinea Campaign Bronze Star, Luzon Campaign Bronze Star, Bronze Arrowhead, four Overseas Service Bars, World War II Victory Medal and the Drivers and the Mechanics Badge. His Commanding Officer cited Clark as a “conscientious soldier who, with others like him, succeeded in the war mission.” After WWII, he worked for Lauren Skinner as a mechanic in Thomaston, Alabama before working for American Can in Pennington, Alabama.

His service record is attached here:


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