|Captain Bland, second from left.|
Williford D. Bland, Jr. could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on January 9, 1917 in Tennessee to parents who were also Tennessee born. According to census records he was the oldest child of three. He had one younger brother. His father was a dry goods clerk who owned his home in Millington. By 1930 Bland, Sr. was working as a salesman. Ten years after that the census showed him as a clerk again.
By 1940 Bland, Jr. was a college graduate with training to be a civil engineer. He was still living with his parents in Tennessee.
He married Charlotte, Elizabeth Anderson on January 1, 1941. Six days later he enrolled in the Army. He was listed at 6 feet tall, weighing 147. At some point he must have been identified as officer material because Bland was a Captain at the time of his death.
|Captain Bland is on the left of the man circled in this picture.|
Captain Bland served in the 68th Tank Battalion, 6th Armored Division. He was the commanding officer of Baker Company. The 6th AD arrived in Normandy on July 19, 1944 and went into action later that month. He died October 1, 1944 outside of Nancy where his unit was working on secure a stronger position to launch later attacks. The unit came under heavy artillery fire and a number of it's tanks were destroyed. During the war 833 6th AD soldiers were killed and another 88 were missing in action.
His remains were returned to be buried at Memphis National Cemetery. It appears that his wife remarried 9 years after his death and lived to the late 1990's.
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