Easley, Claudius Miller “Speck”, born on 11-07-1891 in Thorp Spring, Texas, as the eldest son of Alexander Campbell Easley and his wife Claudia Miller. His family later moved to Waco, Texas when Easley was at a very young age. Claudius subsequently attended local Waco High School, where he graduated in 1911. During his time at high school, Easley enlisted in the Texas National Guard and participated in Rifle-marksmanship competition at Camp Perry in Ohio. He was later commissioned as an officer, with the rank of second lieutenant in the Infantry Branch on 11-07-1912, his 21st birthday.
Claudius was a member of the first Basic Class of the newly established Infantry School, in 1919 and over the years, also was graduated from the Advanced Course of the Infantry School, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He served with the 37th U.S. Infantry Regiment on the Mexican border. Soon after the United States’ entry into World War II, General Easley took command of the 325th Infantry Regiment, nickname “Falcons”, replacing Major General Charles Billingslea of the 82nd Infantry Division. under command of Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway Major General Charles Billingslea died 14-03-1989, age 74, in Washington, District of Columbia.
Casualities of the 82nd Airborne Division during WW2 are: Total casualities 9073, Killed in action 1619, wounded in action 6.560, missing in action 279 and prisoner of war 615.
Claudius left that unit to become the Assistant Division Commander of the 96th Infantry Division at the time of its activation in August, 1942, at Camp Adair, Oregon. The division gained the connotation of the “Deadeyes” because of the high level of marksmanship it achieved through the training directed by General Easley. General Easley went overseas to the Pacific Theatre of Operations with the division in the summer of 1944. “For Exceptionally meritorious conduct” General Easley was awarded the Legion of Merit at the close of the Leyte campaign during which he had been wounded by sniper fire and awarded the Purple Heart. On 08-05-1945, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action on Okinawa Island. On 19-06-1945, Claudius Easley was killed in action, at the age of 53, while directing fire on the last enemy positions on the island.
Death and burial ground of Easley, Claudius Miller “Speck”.
Speck Easley was reburied with his wife Inez, born Wickline, who died age 83, on 24-06-1979, on the Arlington National Cemetery on 23-02-1949, in Section 2. Close by in Section 2, the graves the General, Commander 92nd “ Negro Division”, Edward “Ned” Almond
, Major General, Commander 8th Bomber Command Europe, Frederick Anderson, Rear Admiral, Commander Destroyer Greyson, Frederic Bell, Navy Admiral, “Operation Crossroads”, William Blandy,General, Commander 32nd Infantry Division, Clovis Byers, Navy Admiral. Battle of the Leyte Gulf, Robert Carney, Air Force General Lieutenant, Claire Chennault, Lieutenant General, Commander 4th Corps, Italy Campaign, Willis Crittenberger, Brigadier General, First African-American General, Benjamin Davis, Quartermaster Lieutenant General, John Lesesne De Witt, Major General and Head OSS, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Brigadier General, Speck Easley, Marine Corps Major General, Commander 1st Raider Battalion, Merrit “Red Mike” Edson, Lieutenant General, VIII Army, Robert Eichelberger, Navy Admiral, Commander Nord Pacific Fleet, Frank Fletscher and Navy Admiral, Commander VII Forces, William Fechteler, Admiral, U.S. Chief of Naval Material, John Gingrich and U.S. Brigadier General, “ Merrills Marauders “ in Burma, Frank Down Merrill, U.S. 4* Navy Vice Admiral, Commander U.S.S. Hornet, Doolittle Raid, Marc Mitscher, General Lieutenant and commander of the 80th Infantry Division, nickname “Blue Ridge Division” Horrace Logan “Mac” McBride. Casualties of the 80th: Total-6.029 and KIA-880 and WIA 5.149 in 239 days of combat in the campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
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