March 15 – Happy Birthday Stephen Williams

SWilliams123In October of 1944 Jennie Williams got the scare of her life. A telegram from the War Department arrived at her 279 East Main Street home and she most likely didn’t want to read it because her son Stephen was serving in the Army in Italy at the time. The fighting there between the US and Axis forces had been fierce ever since the Allied invasion of Sicily took place a year earlier. So you can imagine the relief Mrs. Williams felt when she learned that her oldest son had not been killed but only slightly injured in action.

Stephen R. Williams was a handsome East Ender who was born on March 5, 1924. He left Wilbur Lynch High School before graduating and went to work for Jigger’s DiCaprio at his popular East Main Street diner. He then landed a job in the Mohawk Carpet Mills which was just a short walk of a few blocks from his home. He didn’t get the chance to work there long. In March of 1943 he was inducted into the Army and sent to Camp Croft in South Carolina for basic training. After spending a few days of furlough back home in early 1944, he shipped out to North Africa. From there he was sent to Italy to join the fighting.

The Williams family’s former home and shoe shop still stands.

After becoming one of the 260,000 allied troops to be wounded in action …

I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and Stephen William’s complete story will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.

One thought on “March 15 – Happy Birthday Stephen Williams

  1. I’m told that Pvt. Williams was initially rejected for service and could have sat out the war in the safety of the East End. He chose to reapply and was finally accepted. He knew full well what he was getting into and chose Duty, Honor and Country.

    Liked by 1 person

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