William Howard Nelson was born to William L. and Laura Nelson in Bryson City, NC, March 17, 1921, the eldest of seven children. Known as Harold to his family, he moved to Ducktown, TN, some time in the late 1920’s so that his father could work in the copper mines. Two of his brothers were born there. When the mines closed, the family moved to Knoxville. In January 1941 Harold married Edna Mae Mynatt of Knox Co. The previous December 1941 Harold’s only sister was killed in an accident. The following March 1942 a brother died from disease. In April 1942 Harold’s only child, Gary, was born. In 1943, and even though he had a wife and child, Harold wanted to do his part in defending his country from a terrible enemy. Harold joined the army while his brother, Hoyt, joined the navy. Two other brothers, Darrell and W.L. Jr., would follow later. After basic training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Harold was deployed to Europe and assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, Company F. On January 24, 1945, Harold was killed in action in the battle of the Colmar Pocket in eastern France. His brothers returned safely from the war. Harold is survived by his widow, Edna Mae Mynatt Nelson Taylor, his son, Gary E. Nelson, both of Knoxville, and a brother Hubert Nelson of Columbus, OH.
-Submittted by Gary E. Nelson

Enlisted on March 11, 1943, in Fort Oglethorpe, GA
He is buried in Knoxville National Cemetery on May 18, 1948

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 17 March 1921
  • Date of death: 24 January 1945
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 3rd Infantry, Medical Department
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Colmar Pocket
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Knoxville National Cemetery, Knoxville, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Top Panel
  • Sponsored by: Gary Nelson

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