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Russ Gilley

I am writing to you at the suggestion of J.L. Seel regarding my uncle, James Russell Gilley, who died Jan. 16, 1945, in Belgium, after being wounded. He was in a machine gun unit prior to being wounded.

He joined the Army but then was booted out because he was underage. He then convinced my grandmother to sign the papers for him to reenlist. She did, but never forgave herself. In fact, she had herself buried beside her baby boy rather than beside her husband, who died in 1934, when Russ was 10 years old. It was a traumatic family experience.

I was with my grandmother in January 1945, when she received the news about Russ' death. I was six and a half years old at the time.

Two of my aunts still live, but they are fragile, and there has been no satisfactory closure for them. I am attempting to write the best account of his army service that I can while they are still here.

I would like to have contact with any men who knew Russ. I would be grateful for the information.

Wade Gilley

11776 Stratford House #1005

Reston VA 22019