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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Remembering Our World War II Shelby County Fallen Soldiers

During this week of the Fourth of July, as we celebrate our country’s birthday, it is my wish to remember some of the very special, brave Shelby County men who died in World War II.

From the Shelbyville Democrat – Thursday February 24, 1944:


Clifford DeBaun, Seaman, Dead as Result of Burns Received in Pacific Battle
The 16th name has been added to Shelby county’s list of war dead following word received by Mr. and Mrs. John DeBaun, of 623 West South St., that their son, Seaman First Class Clifford L. DeBaun, age 19, died on February 11 of multiple burns received while in performance of his duty in the Pacific Theater of war.

The War Department telegram received by Mr. and Mrs. DeBaun gave no details of his death but stated that the body of their son had been interred in Allied territory outside the continental United States until cessation of hostilities.
The young man had been in the service for one year and four months. He enlisted in the Navy on October 1, 1942 and took boot training at Great Lakes, Ill. He had been home only once since enlisting. His last letter to his parents was written on January 19.

Seaman DeBaun was born in Shelby county on November 26, 1922. He attended the local high school and was employed at the Alberts Furniture Factory at the time of his enlistment.
He is survived by the parents, two sisters, Grace and Doris, at home, and three brothers, Ray, Freddie and Ira DeBaun, all of Shelbyville. Other survivors include the aged grandfather, Henry Jacob DeBaun, two nephews and one niece.

The father and three brothers are all employed in defense work in Indianapolis.


The Shelbyville Democrat – March 2, 1944

The 17th Shelby county “killed in action” casualty for the present World War has been recorded.

Capt. Kimble Midkiff, son of Mrs. Ethel Midkiff, of 618 South Miller St., was killed in action in Italy on February 5, according to a telegram received from the War Department by the young man’s mother.
No details connected with the death were revealed in the War Department’s notification.

Captain Midkiff was 23 years of age, having been born August 3, 1920. He attended Shelbyville high school and was an outstanding member of the school’s band and orchestra. He also was a member of the 151st Infantry Band of the Former National Guard for three years. He was a member of William Hacker Chapter, Order of DeMolay, and of the First Baptist Church and choir.
The young man enlisted in the 11th Infantry Band at Fort Harrison in 1939. He went to Bermuda in 1941, where he was a life guard at Castle Harbor hotel while serving with the 89th Infantry.  Returning in September, 1941, to enter officer’s training at Fort Benning, Ga., he received his commission as a second lieutenant in December, 1841. He was sent to Ireland with the 135rh Infantry in April, 1942, and with a convoy to Algeria on November 8, 1942. He served through the Tunisian campaign and at famous “Hill 609”. He was advanced to the rank of captain in June 1943.

Captain Midkiff was wounded in Italy October 15, 1943, and received the Purple Heart. After leaving the hospital he was made adjutant of the 1st Battalion Headquarters.
Captain Midkiff’s father died in 1927 and a sister preceded him in death in 1934.

Besides the mother, he leaves two sisters, Mrs. William Ash, of this city, and Mrs. Paul V. Maxwell of Cincinnati, O., and a brother Paul Midkiff, of Tacoma, Washington. Other survivors are four nieces, three nephews and several distant relatives.

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