Purple Heart Recipient
William Earl Guilford was listed as Earl Guilford as a graduate of Centralia high school on May 17, 1943. Having turned 18 in the month of June, William Earl Guilford registered with the Nemaha County draft board. Then in August, 1943,
Centralians in Service
Earl Guilford reported at Fort Leavenworth August 10 for physical examination for induction into the armyCourier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 12 Aug 1943, page 2
In the group which left Seneca for Fort Leavenworth August 10, all from Centralia passed the examination. Charles McGhee and Melvin Hochard were accepted into the navy, and will return for service Thursday August 19th. Earl Guilford and Harry Meers were accepted into the army and will have twenty-one days furlough before reporting for active services.Courier Tribune (Seneca KS) 16 Aug 1943 page 1
Centralians in Service
Earl Guilford and Harry Meers will report to Leavenworth Thursday for service in the army They have had their furlough and will go for training.Courier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 2 Sep 1943, page 2
Centralians in Service
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford are enjoying a visit from their son, Pvt. Earl Guilford, who has completed his basic training at Camp Fannin, Texas and will report next week in Maryland for further training.Courier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 6 Mar 1944, page 4
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford also received a cable of the safe arrival of their son, Pvt. Earl Guilford.Courier-Tribune (Seneca, KS) 17 Apr 1944, page 4
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford also received word from their son, Earl. He was in the trenches in France.Courier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 13 Jul 1944 page 6
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford received further word that their son, Pvt. Earl Guilford, was killed September 16, in GermanyCourier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 12 Oct 1944, page 6
According to the History of the First Infantry Division (William Guilford’s unit),
By September 1944, the 1st Infantry Division had reached the German frontier and breached the vaunted Siegfried Line. The division then led the attack to isolate and seize the city of Aachen, the first German city to fall to the Allied armies.
Citation Awarded by President Roosevelt
“In grateful memory of Private William Earl Guilford, 37538356, who died in the service of his country in the European area, on Sept. 16, 1944. He stands in the unbroken line of patriot who have dared to die, that freedom might live and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives — in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men. — Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States”
This citation was received by Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford last week. Also a citation from Henry L. Stimson, Sec. of war, that the Gov’t has awarded the Purple Heart to William Earl Guilford posthumously, to be received by the parents later. They also received the Mariner’s Medal last week which was awarded posthumously to their other con, Cadet Midshipman George Edgar Guilford, reported missing with all hands on his ship, the SS LaSalle, on Sept. 26, 1942. George is one of three Kansas awarded this medal. George was 21 years of age and Earl was 19.
It is with solemn pride that the people of Centralia community look upon these awards and realize at what cost to the Guilford family the offerings were laid upon the Altar of Liberty.Courier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 4 Dec 1944, page 6
Private William Guilford’s body was shipped home and buried in Centralia, Kansas.
Centralia to Have Soldier Service
For Private William E. Guilford
The Centralia community, which was hit hard by war casualties, is to have a service for one of its honored dead Wednesday afternoon of this week. To be given full military honors will be the body of Private William E. Guilford.
The body will arrive in Centralia on the Wednesday morning train, and the service, to e at the graveside, will be at 2:00 in the afternoon, with Centralia American Legion in charge.
Private Guilford was born June 8, 1925. He served in the infantry and met death near Aachen, Germany, on September 6, 1944.
He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford, who lost two boys in the service, the other George E. Giilford, who was a cadet engineer n the Maritime service and was lost in the Pacific area in 1942.
The parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Harvey Guilford, moved several yers ago to Sulphur Springs, Arkansas. Mrs. Guilford, mother of the two boys who gave their lives in service, died a year or so ago.