Wilson, Murlyn Eugene.

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Wilson, Murlyn Eugene, born 14-10-1920, in Mongo, LaGrange County, Indiana, USA to Roy M. Wilson (1896–1970) and his wife Lydia Neva, borm McKenzie Wilson (1895–1964). Murlyn had three sister, Evelyn Mae Klingler (1917–1978), Lois M.Wilson Dunkel (1926–2017) and Kathryn J Wilson Rhodes (1930–2020)

Wilson enlisted in the U.S. Army on 01 -01-1941. Murlyn wanted to be a pilot, but that didn’t work out so he signed up for paratrooper school. He had his reasons. The country was still emerging from The Great Depression. Banks were foreclosing on farms. Murlyn Wilson, son of Roy and Neva, grew up on the family farm in Mongo, Indiana., a dot on the map in northeast Indiana.

Paratroopers made a few extra bucks, and Murlyn Wilson sent that money home to his family. He was fighting for his country, and his family farm, when he floated out of the sky on 006-06-1944, into the farmland of northwest France. That was Normandy. Operation Neptune, the Allies called the events of 06-06-1944.

His mother Kathryn Wilson Rhodes was born on 26-07-1930 in Mongo, LaGrange County, Indiana. Kathryn married Robert Rhodes, a native of LaGrange, on 04-09-1948 in neighboring Orland, Steuben County, IN. Kathryn received her Masters degree in teaching from Indiana University and spent 27 years teaching in the Elkhart County, IN, community schools and after retirement served 15 years as a substitute teacher. In addition to serving with three teacher’s associations, Kathryn volunteered at Faith United Methodist Church and Hubbard Hill Estates retirement community. Her son Richard told of his mother’s love of family, faith, and her devotion to her brother Murlyn Wilson’s final resting place at English Prairie Cemetery, LaGrange County. Murlyn gave his life for this country and the free world on D-Day, June 6, 1944.


Murlyn served in the 82nd Airborne Division, nickname and moto “All American Division” America’s Guard of Honor and Motto”All the way!” “Death from above”  under command of Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway with the 505th Infantry Paratrooper -\ under command of Lieutenant General James Maurice Gavin “Slim Jim”

Murlyn was killed in action on that pivotal day in history that ultimately sealed the fate for the defeat of Nazi Germany and their European allies (his headstone photo is shown below). Nephew Richard Rhodes writes: “a little side note on the headstone of his Uncle Murlyn pictured in this post. Murlyn ran track for Springfield Township (Mongo). In the 1938 Elkhart Sectional track meet, tiny Mongo finished fourth. With one man! Murlyn won the mile run and one half hour later beat Elkhart’s star half miler in the 880! Murlyn went on to run on the 1940 Indiana University National Championship Cross Country team. The 1940 team picture with Murlyn is displayed in Assembly Hall at Indiana University in Bloomington. Murlyn left IU to serve his country after the 1940 cross country season. He was well known for his running abilities while in the Army winning several races both in the states and abroad.” (see the photo of Murlyn and a wonderful newspaper article of the day reporting on his track successes – what a rich history our veterans lived, in private life and in service to all of us!)

Death and burial ground of Wilson, Murlyn Eugene.

Murlyn Eugene Wilson died on the first day of 6 Jun 1944 (age 23) in France and is buried at the English Prairie Cemetery in Brighton, LaGrange County, Indiana, United States Section Row 11 Lot 18.

 Family tends Murlyn Wilson’s gravesite. It was Kathryn Wilson Rhodes’ last visit to her brother’s grave, a few days after she found out she had terminal cancer. The photo was taken late summer 2019.

Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:    robhopmans@outlook.com

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