Monroe Co., Tn
Lacey-Davis Foundation and Ansa work together to build monuments
dedicated to our pilots killed in France. The dedication below is for Joe
Howard. His monument date is scheduled
June 8, 2011.
2nd Lt. Joseph Calloway Howard
9th Army Air Force
368th Fighter Group
397th Fighter Squadron
Ride: P-47 Thunderbolt
3/5/1924 – 6/7/1944
Monument location will be at Saint Martin de Blagny, France
MACR #5717, Shot down by flak while
strafing near Littry,
following account was written by Jo Stakely, Archivist for Monroe County, TN
“A few months ago the Lacey-Davis
Foundation contacted me with information concerning one of Monroe County’s
World War II fallen heroes. Relic hunters in France had located the P-47
Thunderbolt plane piloted by Sweetwater native Lt. Joe C. Howard, who had been shot down over France on June 7th, 1944, during
the largest invasion force ever assembled - the invasion of Normandy, or D-Day. The Lacey-Davis foundation works with Normandy Association for Air of Europe
during WWII, which is an organization of local French citizens sanctioned by
their government to locate and preserve WWII relics. Their motto is: “To pass on their memory is our duty to
future generations”. The ANSA wanted
to erect a monument very near the plane crash site in order to honor Lt.
Howard for his ultimate sacrifice in helping to liberate their country from
the Nazi Regime. The Lacey-Davis Foundation and ANSA needed help in locating
any living relatives of Lt. Howard so they could notify them of their find,
their plans to erect the memorial and to invite them to the monument
dedication. Financial assistance for
families to attend these dedications is offered by the Lacey-Davis
After searching through old newspaper
articles and other records I was able to find that although Lt. Howard died
in June of 1944, his body was not returned to his family and his hometown
until February of 1948. He was not
married nor did he have any children at the time of his death, but he did
have a sister, Josephine, who could possibly be alive. Further research and a conversation with
Larry Anderson led me to Josephine Denton, Lt. Howard’s sister, who still
lives in Sweetwater. When Mr.
Anderson informed Mrs. Denton that her brother’s fallen plane had been
located in France,
he said “she was moved to tears”.
Mrs. Denton informed me that her brother was listed as Missing In
Action until his grave was discovered in France. To her knowledge, his plane had not been
found at that time. Upon the
family’s request, his body was returned to the United
States and after a military funeral with honors, he was
buried in West View Cemetery.
After several months of hard work, the
Monument for 2nd Lt. Joseph Calloway Howard is scheduled to be
dedicated today, June 8th, 2011 in Saint Martin de Blagny, France. Although Mrs. Denton will
not be able to attend, she states that she is “so proud they are remembering
him in this way, and truly grateful for all they are doing”.
The Sweetwater Valley News
The body of Second Lieutenant Joe C. Howard was
expected to arrive in Sweetwater this afternoon at 2:30. The veteran’s body
was shipped from Atlanta
with military escort Wednesday.
Reared in Sweetwater, Lt. Howard, who graduated from
the local high school in 1942, was killed in the European Theatre where he
served as pilot of a P-47.
The body will remain at the home of his grandmother,
Mrs. Mark White, in Sweetwater until services Sunday afternoon at the First Baptist Church.
Services will begin at 2:30 with Rev O. D. Fleming officiating. Members of
the Sweetwater Veterans of Foreign Wars will serve as pall bearers for the
military funeral. A full firing squad and bugler will be used during burial.
Interment will be at West View
Cemetery with Kykers in charge. Lt. Howard is survived by one sister,
Josephine Howard, and two grandmothers, Mrs. Mark White and Mrs. Joe C.
Howard, both of Sweetwater.
2 LT Joe C. Howard
Branch of Service: U.S.
Hometown: Monroe County, TN
Researcher and Designer
Jo Stakely, Joy Locke & Joe Irons