| || Notes for HARLIS JACKSON LOVELL:|
According to Spry Funeral Home records, PFC Harlis J. Lovell (SN 34802914) was killed in Burma, China on February 2, 1945 at the age of 21.Informant for Harlis was his father, W.J. Lovell of Route 6; Athens, Alabama.Harlis was single and was born on February 3, 1924 in Limestone County, Alabama.He had been in the army for 3 years.His father was born in Limestone County, Alabama and his mother was born in Winchester, Tennessee.His service was held on Sunday, June 6, 1948 at 3:00 p.m. Pallbearers: American Legion.Minister:Everett Bullington.The Bible School Chorus provided the music.
Survivors included his parents:Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Lovell of Route 6; Athens, Alabama.2 brothers:Leroy and Brady Lovell of Route 6; Athens, Alabama.1 sister:Ella Ree Lovell of Route 6: Athens, Alabama and a number of other relatives.
Harlis entered basic training on April 20, 1943.Alabama PFC 124 Cavalry.He was stationed in Kansas until he was sent overseas.After some research, I have learned that the 124th was actually out of Texas but some of the cavalry was taken from Fort Riley in Kansas.Fort Riley served as a cavalry training center.Harlis was killed on Burma China Road one day before he turned 21 years old. My father told me that February 2nd was his first day of combat.Harlis and most of his platoon were killed with machine gun fire.
From the book, "Limestone County Alabama During World War II" by Fay Acton Axford:"Armed Forces Personnel---Killed in action were....Pvt. Harlis J. Lovell, son of Mrs. Mary T. of Athens Route 6, in the Pacific...."
Some believed that the casket that was sent home was empty.Papa Roy said that the government sent an empty box home so that the family could provide him a decent burial.All the casualties were buried in mass graves. Nanny has told me that they never found Harlis' dog tags.
Papa would have tears in his eyes as he spoke of Harlis.Afterwards, Papa would stay quiet for a long while.He told me several times that their father (Willis Lovell) was so cruel to Harlis that if he had survived the war, he would not have come back home.Other relatives have also told me that Willis was cruel to Harlis.Harlis left home when he was 15.He moved to Tennessee when he was 16 or 17.
Jessica will be able to remember Papa Roy's story about him...HOW HARLIS FOUND A NEW KIND OF POSSUM.Harlis was just a boy and went hunting with their "poodle pup."The way Papa explained the dog was that it's tail curled up toward it's back.Harlis came home from hunting with his new kind of possum---it was a skunk.Needless to say, Harlis and the dog did not smell very nice.
Harlis' fiance' was Margaret' Eastep from Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee (Maury County).She was related to Ida Eastep who married Jesse Milton Lovell.Nanny has told me that she met Margaret' Eastep a couple of times.
On August 11, 2001, I visited JC and Ruth Lovell.They live on Lovell Road in Athens, Alabama.They live about 1/4 of a mile from Papa's "old home place."August 11th had been decoration day at Higgins Cemetery.I had promised JC that I would share my Lovell pictures with him.I decided to burn a CD and take it to him.He lived close to Daddy and his family while he was growing up.He told me a few things that I wanted to record.
JC is 76 years old.He was in WWII--became critically injured in Germany and was sent home.From what I understand, he still has pieces of metal lodged in his back.He was awarded The Purple Heart.We began talking and he wanted to tell me some stories about Harlis.He said that there was a deputy that lived nearby when they were growing up.He and Harlis saw the deputy come home with a gallon of confiscated whiskey.They watched until the deputy left and Harlis went inside the house and stole it.JC also told me that they would play pranks on people at Christmas.Harlis and "some other boys" took a wagon apart and put it back together on top of someone's house.Harlis left home when he was 15---so all this had to happen when he was very young.
124th Cavalry - Lineage
124th U. S. Cavalry Regiment, 1929
Texas Army National Guard
MOTTO: "Golpeo Rapidimente" (Spanish - "I Strike Quickly" )
FORMATION: Organized from six existing units of the Texas National in Central Texas on 13 February, 1929, the 124th Cavalry is the youngest of the ten combat arms regiments of the Texas National Guard. The lineage of the various units of the 124th generally is traced to Texas cavalry deployed during the First World War for Mexican border security service, including the Third, Fifth, and Seventh Texas Cavalry, 1917. Units of the 124th did state duty to enforce martial law at Borger in 1929, in Sherman in 1930, and in the East Texas oil field disorders when the entire 56th Cavalry Brigade (112 Cav /124 Cav) was ordered there in 1931. With the other units of the Texas National Guard, the 124th Cavalry Regiment (horse) was federalized in November, 1940.
WORLD WAR II: After initial training at Fort Bliss, the 124th was restationed at Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas and Fort Ringgold at Rio Grande City. The Regiment participated in the Louisiana maneuvers and patrolled the border with Mexico from Brownsville to Laredo. After its sister regiment, the 112th Cavalry was sent overseas, the 124th continued its Mexican border service until it was moved to Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1944. It then was the last horse cavalry unit in the U. S. Army.
MARS TASK FORCE: In 1944 the unit was selected for overseas service in the China-Burma-India Theater to provide reinforcements for Merrill's Marauders and the Chindits. Leaving its horses at Fort Riley, the 124th was reinforced in Burma by the 613th Field Artillery battalion to form the 124th Regimental Combat Team (Special), part of the "MARS Task Force". After a killing, 300-mile approach march over difficult terrain, leading a mule supply train, the unit fought the Japanese in Burma and China from 1944 to the end of the war. Their efforts are credited with forcing Japanese withdrawal from northern Burma,allowing for full use of the Burma Road to China. The fighting was characterized by operations deep in enemy territory, extensive use of pack mules, and the use of aerial resupply.
WORLD WAR II CAMPAIGNS "India-Burma" and "Central Burma".
1st Lt. Jack Knight, Troop F, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the only such award for ground action in the China-Burma-India theater. The unit was demobilized in China on July 1, 1945.
POSTWAR SERVICE: On July 2, 1946 several units of the Texas National Guard were organized in the lineage of the 124th. The 124th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was assigned to the 49th Armored Division and in 1949 became the 2d Squadron of the 124th. Later reorganizations redesignated the 2d Squadron as the 1st and added the 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 124th Armor, elements of the 36th Division.
PENTOMIC DIVISION, 1959: In 1959, the 36th Division was reorganized using the Pentomic Army Division structure. The 1st/124 Armor was assigned as Division Troops as was the 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 124th Armor.
REORGANIZATION, 1963: The 1st Squadron, 124 Armor was retained as organic to the 36th Division in 1963 when the 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 124th Armor was assigned to the 49th Armored Division and redesignated the 2d Battalion/112th Armor. The 1/124 Armor was redesigned at the 1/124 Cavalry in 1963.
RETIREMENT OF THE 36TH AND 49TH DIVISION: When the 36th Division was retired from service in 1968, Troops A, E, and F of the 1st Squadron, 124 Cavalry were assigned as organic to the 71st, 36th and 72d Brigades respectively.
49TH ARMORED DIVISION: In 1973 the units scattered to the separate brigades were reunited in the 1/124, headquartered in Waco. The 3d Battalion 143d Infantry (Airborne) was redesignated as 1/124 Armored Cavalry, retaining the lineage of the 124th Cavalry.
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: 1st Squadron, 124th Armored Cavalry is organic to the 49th Armored Division (1999) with units in Waco, Corsicana, Athens and Austin.