Evans Earnest Overbey was born at Wilch, West Virginia, the son of William S. Overbey and Maggie Bell Lewis.

According to a 1940 census he was born around 1907 in Tennessee and lived with relatives, the Lewis Family, in Carter County, Tennessee. He was their cousin. According to a 1930 census he was born around 1913 in Tennessee and the only son of William and Maggie Overby. They lived in Lipps, Wise County, Virginia then.

His parents were married 11 June 1921 in Carter County, Tennessee. Maggie Bell (Lewis) Overbey died in 1939 at the age of 42 and is buried at Markland Cemetery in Carter County, Tennessee. Her husband (age 65) still lived then. William S. Overbey died on 16 February 1948 in Coeburn, Wise County, Virginia. He is buried in Elizabethton, Carter County, Tennessee.

He entered the service from Virginia and also last resided there.  His name is spelled as Overbey as well as Overby.

Memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, the Philippines, and now buried Mountain Home National Cemetery, Johnson City, TN.


Remains of World War II Soldier to Return to Tennessee

Tennessean Identified After Nearly 75 Years

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of United States Army Air Forces Private Evans Overbey of Elizabethton was serving with the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group during World War II.  Overbey was reported to be captured in the fall of Corregidor.  Nearly 2,800 prisoners of war died in the Japanese-operated camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines.  Overbey along with 12 other servicemen and one American civilian died on November 19, 1942 from malnutrition and medical neglect while in the camp hospital.  He was buried in a common grave in the camp cemetery.  He was 25 years old.

Advancements in DNA testing and forensic analysis allowed teams at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory to positively identify Overbey in December, 2015.

“More than seven decades have passed since Evans Overbey left home to serve his country in World War II,” Haslam said.  “There is reverent closure in finally bringing him back to his home state to be buried among our fallen heroes where his family will be joined by his community to offer an appropriate farewell.”

“It is an honor to be able to finally lay this soldier to rest in a field of honor on his home soil,”  Grinder said.  “Although I am grieved that his parents were not able to live to see this day, his nieces and nephews will now have confirmation that their Uncle Evans is home and Tennessee is grateful for his valiant sacrifice.”

Overbey’s remains will arrive at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport at 2525 TN-25 in Blountville on Tuesday, July 12 at 8:10 p.m. (EDT).  Media planning to attend the dignified transfer of remains at the airport will need to meet the Tri-Cities Regional Airport Public Safety Officer at the Air Services Counter between 7:45 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. (EDT).  Further instructions will be provided at the Air Services Counter.  Interviews with family members will not be provided during the dignified transfer of remains.

Visitation will be at Valley Funeral Home at 1085 North Main Street in Erwin on Thursday, July 14 from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (EDT).

Haslam has declared a day of mourning and ordered flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, July 15 in honor of Private Overbey’s ultimate sacrifice.  Burial will be at the Mountain Home National Cemetery at 53 Memorial Avenue in Mountain Home, Tennessee on Friday, July 15 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT).

Overbey is survived by his niece and nephews Grace Erwin and Phillip Erwin of Erwin, Tennessee.  Other surviving nieces and nephews include Vernon Rose, Vernon Rose, Jr., Kenneth Sanger, Jeannette Spiesman, Phyllis Ann Willoughby of Ohio as well as Delorse McCauley of North Carolina and Wanda Murray of Colorado.


WWII soldier’s remains returned to East Tennessee

News Sentinel staff

The remains of a World War II soldier with upper East Tennessee ties who was reported captured in the fall of Corregidor and who died in 1942 will be buried at a cemetery in his home state this week.

A news release from the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services says 25-year-old Army Air Forces Pvt. Evans Overbey served with the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group.

Pvt. Overbey grew up in Coeburn, Va., but his, parents were from Elizabethton, Tenn., and has remaining family in Erwin, Tenn.

On Dec. 8, 1914, Japanese bombers attacked American forces at Clark Field in the Philippines, killing 55 and wounding 150. After a surrender by troops in April 1942, Pvt. Overbey and other survivors were forced to march in the infamous 65-mile Bataan Death March northward to prison camps in Luzon. Reports indicated that Pvt. Overbey survived the march, but of died of malnourishment and medical neglect. He was buried in a common grave in the camp cemetery.

He received a hero’s welcome Tuesday at Tri-Cities Airport. As hundreds looked on, Pvt. Overbey’s casket, draped in a U.S. flag, was transferred from a Delta MD88 aircraft to a waiting black hearse.

Family will receive friends 11 a.m.-7 p.m. today at Valley Funeral Home, 1085 N. Main Ave., Erwin, Tenn.

Burial will be 2:30 p.m. Friday at Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City. Attendees are asked to meet at the cemetery by 2:05 p.m.

At the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, will provide medals and a POW/MIA flag, along with medals for the family. A fly over will also occur during the service.

Gov. Bill Haslam has declared a day of mourning and ordered flags flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of Pvt. Overbey’s sacrifice.

Thursday, 07/14/2016 Pag.A03 (c) Knoxville News

This is my great uncle whom I am proud of for his service of our country.
–Submitted by his great-niece, Lillian Yemma

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of birth:
  • 25 May 1917
  • Date of death: 20 November 1942
  • County: Carter
  • Hometown: Elizabethton
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 93rd Bomber Squadron, 19th Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Corregidor
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Mountain Home National Cemetery, Johnson City, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIII, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Evans E. Overbey

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