John C. Kelsey was born 26 November 1924. John’s the son of John Grover Kelsey and Betty May Moody. His younger brother Hershel served in the United States Navy in World War II aboard LST 487 also in the Pacific. John attended Asbury School and later moved with his family to Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. After his parents separated he moved back to Johnson City and lived with his grandparents. He continued his schooling at Asbury, but ran away and enlisted in the United States Army on 26 November 1940 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He told the recruiter that today was his birthday and he was 19, in fact he was only 16 this day. He trained at Fort Moultrie, S.C., and in Panama, having been assigned duty in the Canal Zone February, 1941. He served on the Isthmus two years and went farther overseas in January, 1943. He served in Australia, New Britain and New Guinea before his death.

He was killed 16 January 1944 on the Southwest Pacific island of Arawe

Buried at Monte Vista Cemetery, Johnson City, TN

Submitted by Allan D. Jackson (USAF Ret.)

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 26 November 1924
  • Date of death: 16 January 1944
  • County: Washington
  • Hometown: Johnson City
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 158th Infantry
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Monte Vista Cemetery, Johnson City, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIX, Middle Panel
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