Marshall County family remembers WWII sailor

Seventy-one years after the death of a U.S. Navy sailor his family in Marshall County is getting some closure. Jesse Raymond Wilson was presumed dead during World War II, but no service was ever held in his honor. 

"He was 20 when was killed, very young. Very proud of him, very proud he served our country," said his niece Patsy Darnell.

She was not even 9 years old when her uncle, Jesse Raymond Wilson, joined the Navy.

"I just remember him. I remember him very well, but to remember any conversations or anything like that, I don't," Darnell said.

Raymond was a member of the crew on the USS Plunkett.

"He said 'When I get out, I'm going to come out and get the biggest, longest car.' That was his dream —getting out of the service and having a nice car," Darnell said.

Raymond never made it out. His ship was hit by bomb dropped by a German airplane in 1944. One year later he was presumed dead.

"I'm thinking 'How long had he been dead before the family knew about it?'" Darnell said. 

Raymond's family still feels the loss today. With hundreds of men dying that day, he never got an individual service.

"He just never had a marker," said Keith Johnson, the husband of Raymond's niece, Barbara Wilson Johnson.

Now family members are ready for some closure.

"His monument will be between his brother, Leonard Wilson, and his sister, Miss Nelly Wilson, and there's just enough spacing here to do that," Johnson said. 

The family has planned a memorial service, where a monument will be laid to honor Raymond.

"Its going to be very emotional. Its something that should have been done a long time ago, but no one has thought much about it I guess," Johnson said.
 
Raymond's family will have the comfort of honoring their uncle.

"It took a long time in doing, but it is being done here," Darnell said.
 
And, finally, some closure.

The ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Fooks Cemetery. The family invites anyone who wants to to come and honor him.

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