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Home > Author > Lafayette Claud Eaton
 
Lafayette Claud Eaton

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Member Since: Before 2003

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  Lafayette Claud Eaton

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84 year old youngster, still writing


Background Information

Very active in genealogical research 

Birth Place
Henderson, NC Vance
Accomplishments

Many World War II decorations includihng the Purple Heart

Additional Information

Soon after his birth his family moved to Greenville, South Carolina. He attended Hayne School and Billy Cleveland School then when his family moved to the Reedy River community near Travelers Rest, South Carolina, he completed the 7th grade at Reedy River School. He graduated from Travelers Rest High School. After one year at Furman University he went to work for Miller Dray Company then for L. B. Clardy Company. He enlisted in the U S Navy on 14 MAR 1937. Upon completion of recruit training at Norfolk, Virginia he sailed aboard the U S S. Nitro to San Diego, California where he finished Navy Hospital Corps School. Claud was stationed at the U S Naval Hospital in San Diego for two years then assigned to U S S Savannah, then U S S Boise. after completing his enlistment he remained in civilian status three months before re enlisting in the Navy in Norfolk, Virginia. The next assignment was to the U S S Republic, the Navy’s largest troop transport. After trips to Murmansk, Russia and Iceland, the Republic sailed to the Pacific Ocean. It left Pearl Harbor, enroute to Midway, Wake, Guam, The Philippines and Singapore when World War II began. Since those places were quickly occupied by the enemy, the Republic was diverted to Brisbane, Australia where it was unloaded. After returning to San Francisco the Republic participated in the invasion of Guadalcanal. Claud was next stationed at the U S Naval Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. While serving at the Memphis Hospital Claud was advanced in rate to Chief Pharmacist‘s Mate. He was then assigned to Foxy 29, code name for Casualty Handling Units for the invasion of Normandy, France. Claud’s unit of 40 hospital corpsmen served aboard the U S S LST 512 that landed on Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. The mission of a Casualty Handling Unit was to provide early medical care for the wounded enroute from the beaches in Normandy to hospitals in England. Claud’s unit handled casualties until the Air Corps established an airlift. He still has a list of the casualties that his unit cared for on D-Day 1944. The LST 512 sank near the coast of France in September 1944 and Claud returned to Boston, Massachusetts where he was assigned to the U S S Emmons, a destroyer being converted to a high-speed minesweeper. The Emmons sailed through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Theater where it participated in the invasion of Okinawa. At Okinawa The Emmons was attacked by Japanese suicide (Kamikaze) planes. The gun crews shot down 14 planes before five planes penetrated their defense and crashed into the ship. Claud was severely wounded but was rescued from his burning ship by the crew of a wooden minesweeper and evacuated to the U S S Gosper for transportation to the U S Naval Hospital on Guam where his leg was amputated. Later he was transferred by plane to the Naval Hospital at Aiea Heights, Hawaii, and from there to the Naval Hospital at Mare Island, Vallejo, California. Upon returning to active duty Claud was assigned to the Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California and finally to the Naval Reserve Training Center also in Vallejo. He retired in 1958 and immediately enrolled in and completed his college education at San Francisco State University. After graduation he worked nine years for the California State Department of Employment. Since his last retirement he has been involved in travel throughout the United States and in genealogical research. Claud has completed three books, "Rebecca’s Letters - A Saga Of A Confederate Family,” "Our Tree,” a family history and "Butler Guards,” a history of Company B, 2nd South Carolina Infantry, and is currently writing his autobiography.





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