Roy C. Hollis, 1915-1994
I am thinking about my dad today. Although he did not give up his life for our country, he did put it on the line. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in November of 1943 and entered active service the following month. He served as a Staff Sergeant in Troop B of the 106th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. His occupational specialty was rifleman. His Separation Qualification Record states that he “supervised the activities of 11 men in a rifle squad. Was responsible for the control, coordination, and tactical employment of squad. Loaded, aimed, and fired a .30 Cal Garand rifle. Is familiar with carbine, Browning automatic rifle, machine gun, etc. Also is familiar with all types of hand weapons and hand to hand fighting techniques.” His discharge papers list the following battles and campaigns: Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. Decorations and Citations received were the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; the Good Conduct Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and three Bronze Service Stars. He was honorably discharged on November 1, 1945.
As I was growing up I remember my dad talking about how he fought at the Battle of the Bulge, how he marched from the English Channel to Czechoslovakia, how he almost got run over by a German tank, and how he was the only original member of his squad to survive the war. He wasn’t a religious man, but when he spoke of the war he thanked God for protecting him and bringing him home. He said that on more than one occasion he remembered a fellow soldier waking up with the feeling that his time had come--that he would not survive the day--but my dad said he never had that feeling. Somehow he always knew he would make it home.
I regret that I didn’t pay more attention to his stories and that I didn’t appreciate all that he went through in service to his country. My dad died on June 16, 1994 at the age of 78 after an extended battle with lung cancer. He is survived by five children, six stepchildren, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, one sister, and his second wife (my mom).
I still miss him. Thank you, Daddy, and rest in peace.