Bolton, Cecil Hamilton.

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Bolton, Cecil Hamilton, born, 07-10-1908, in Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida, to Sanders Manoah Bolton ( 1867-1925) and his wife Octavia I.born Hamilton Bolton (1868–1948). He had one brother Sergeant Lloyd Thomas Bolton (1902–1961), also a soldier in WW2. Cecil was married twice:Babbette De Fronch Bolton ( 1911–1939- marriage 1935) and Bessie Mabel McNabb Bolton (1909–1978) ( marriage 1939) Bolton joined the Army from Fort McClellan, near Anniston, Alabama on the 27th of July, 1942, and by 02-11-1944 was serving as a first lieutenant in Company E, 413th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division.

Cecil served as a First Lieutenant in Company E, 413th Infantry Regiment, “Timberwolf Division”, under command of Colonel Welcome P. Waltz 104th Division, US Army, under command of Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen. “Terrible Terry”.   Total casualties for the Timberwolves in WWII were 1,447 killed and over six thousand wounded. Colonel Waltz led the 413th Infantry Regiment through this period and was awarded the Legion of Merit.

As leader of the weapons platoon, bazooka team  of Company E, 413th Infantry,  against a German positions. on the night of 02-11-1944, he fought gallantly in a pitched battle which followed the crossing of the Mark River in Holland. When two machine guns pinned down his company, he tried to eliminate, with mortar fire, their grazing fire which was inflicting serious casualties and preventing the company’s advance from an area rocked by artillery shelling. In the moonlight it was impossible for him to locate accurately the enemy’s camouflaged positions; but he continued to direct fire until wounded severely in the legs and rendered unconscious by a German shell. When he recovered consciousness he instructed his unit and then crawled to the forward rifle platoon positions. Taking a two-man bazooka team on his voluntary mission, he advanced chest-deep in chilling water along a canal toward one enemy machine gun. While the bazooka team covered him, he approached alone to within 15 yards of the hostile emplacement in a house. He charged the remaining distance and killed the two gunners with hand grenades. Returning to his men he led them through intense fire over open ground to assault the second German machine gun. An enemy sniper who tried to block the way was dispatched, and the trio pressed on. When discovered by the machine-gun crew and subjected to direct fire, 1st Lieutenant. Bolton killed one of the three gunners with carbine fire, and his two comrades shot the others. Continuing to disregard his wounds, he led the bazooka team toward an 88-mm artillery piece which was having telling effect on the American ranks, and approached once more through icy canal water until he could dimly make out the gun’s silhouette. Under his fire direction, the two soldiers knocked out the enemy weapon with rockets. On the way back to his own lines he was again wounded. To prevent his men being longer subjected to deadly fire, he refused aid and ordered them back to safety, painfully crawling after them until he reached his lines, where he collapsed. First Lieutenant. Bolton’s heroic assaults in the face of vicious fire, his inspiring leadership, and continued aggressiveness even through suffering from serious wounds contributed in large measure to overcoming strong enemy resistance and made it possible for his battalion to reach its objective.

For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in September, 1945 and reached the rank of Colonel before leaving the Army.

A second private of the 413 Infantry Regiment “Timberwolf Division”, received the Medal of Honor, he was one of seven African Americans to receive the Medal of Honor for service in World War II. PFC Willy F. James, Jr, born 18-03-1920 in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up there the only child of a widowed mother. He was drafted into the Army in September 1942, but before he left Kansas City, he married, not even having time for a proper honeymoon with wife, Valcenie. On 07-04-1945, James’s unit crossed the Weser near Lippoldsberg. He was sent forward to scout the enemy position and made critical observations while pinned down by heavy fire for more than an hour. Still under fire, he raced back to his company to report his observations. Undaunted, James volunteered to lead the attack on Lippoldsberg. As the men advanced, they drew fire from every direction. SS troops emerged from the windows and doorways of the town. Platoon leader, Lieutenant A.J. Serabella was gravely wounded in the attack. James raced to his aid, intending to pull him to safety. Before he could make any movements, James, age 25, was struck and killed by German sniper fire.

Death and burial ground Bolton, Cecil Hamilton.

After WW II, Bolton continued to serve in the Army including service in the Korean War, where he earned the rank of Colonel. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Colonel Bolton was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart [with multiple Oak Leaf Clusters].

Bolton, Cecil Hamilton. died 22-01-1965 (age 56) in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA, and is buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, VS Section PC Grave 22-J.

A monument was raised for him in in Panacea, Florida.

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