Sunday, October 25, 2009

Robert Franklin Ballard

Robert Franklin Ballard

Conflict: World War II
Branch of Service: U. S. Army
Unit: Co. G, 187th Glider Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division
Rank: Private
Serial Number: 34644206
Death: 15 February 1945 in Ft. McKinley, Luzon Island, Philippine Islands
Cemetery: Plot D, Row 4, Grave 95, Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Medals / Citations / Awards: Purple Heart

Robert Franklin Ballard was born 31 May 1923 in Spartanburg, S.C. He was a cotton mill worker when he was inducted into service at Ft. Jackson, S.C., 30 January 1943. His induction papers indicate that he smoked cigarettes and that he had broken the second finger on his left hand in 1938. At some point he was transferred to Camp Mackall, N.C., for it was there on 23 October 1943 that he was bitten by a snake. Records indicate the he was crawling through the brush and was bitten on the back of the left hand. A tourniquet was applied and an anti-toxin administered (even though they indicated that they did not know what kind of snake had bitten him). He returned to duty on the 27th. On 5 January 1944, he was on a troop train from Camp Mackall, N.C. When he pulled a mattress down from an upper berth he knocked down the board separating the beds. It fell on his right foot breaking his second toe. He was assigned to Service Co., 511th Parachute Infantry, Camp Toccoa, Ga., and was sent to Camp Polk., La., for training. In April 1944, Pvt. Ballard and two others in his unit were Court Martialed for being absent without leave at Camp Polk, La. He was found guilty and sentenced to 5 months confinement and hard labor at the Camp Polk Stockade. His sentence was remitted.
He was placed on parachute jumping status 17 June 1944. He was killed in action 15 February 1945 in the Southwest Pacific Area. His death record indicates that he was killed instantly by a gunshot wound to his neck.
His mother was Matilda Gray Ballard 209 Johnson St., Arcadia, S.C. He also had a brother Eugene.

American Battle Monuments Commission n.d.
Military Personnel Record

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