Age: 89 Address: Unicoi, TN Date of Death: Saturday, February 16, 2013 Arrangements: Henline-Hughes Funeral Home
Details: Charles William Ingram a longtime resident of Unicoi, TN passed away on February 16th at VA Hospital, Mountain Home, TN after a brief illness. He was born in Buladean, NC to the late Wilson and Venia (Troutman) Ingram. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Laura Ledford Buchanan, and three brothers, Luther, A.D., and Jeter Ingram, son Billy Ingram, and grandson, Jason Archer.
After WWII started, his oldest brother enlisted so William tried to enlist before he was old enough. They said, "Go home and grow awhile." His adult height of 5'3", earned him the nickname "Shortie." He left home to work in the ship yards in Baltimore, Maryland as a ship-fitter. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S.Navy. He completed amphibious training and was authorized to wear insignia of the "Amphibious Forces” and was assigned to the "7th Beach Battalion" for the D-Day Invasion, partly due to his skill as a marksman and speed as a runner. He served as a "radio man" on D-Day and was wounded that night while signaling a safe passageway for landing craft. His wound was not properly recorded, so he never received a Purple Heart. He did receive a Distinguished Unit Badge for his unit's participation in the invasion on Omaha Beach. He also received an "individual" Presidential Citation signed by President Harry Truman for his service that day. During his 4 1/2 years in the military, he received 3 Bronze Stars for participation in 3 major battles in WWII: D-Day, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. He even saw the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. He was honorably discharged in 1947, receiving a Good Conduct Medal and a Victory Medal for his involvement in the war.
By God's grace and in answer to their mother's prayers, William and his brothers, Luther and A.D., fought bravely in WWII and survived without serious injury and returned home. Luther was in the Air Force and was a "volunteer” bomber crewman in the "raid on Japan" (after the Pearl Harbor attack) led by Jimmy Doolittle. This raid was so "risky" participation was "completely voluntary". A.D., an Army paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, parachuted behind German lines in Normandy the night before D-Day. Later he was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a P.O.W., but escaped. Later he re-enlisted in the Navy. He received 3 Purple Heart awards for injuries sustained during WWII. These 3 brothers were part of the "Greatest Generation" newsman Tom Brokaw spoke so highly about.
After his military service, Mr. Ingram worked for many years as an ironworker welder for TVA building dams, steam plants and nuclear power plants in the East Tennessee area. He was a member of Ironworker Local Union 384 in Knoxville and VFW Post # 9754, Church Hill, TN. He was a member of Middle District Freewill Baptist Church in Buladean.
William always enjoyed gardening and grew the best tomatoes and watermelons around. He loved spending time with his sons and grandchildren, especially teaching them to hunt and fish. As a young man he enjoyed hunting with his coon hounds. Later he loved to rabbit hunt with his son (Brian) and "two of the best rabbit dogs around."
He attended Buladean Elementary and Tipton Hill High School.
Survivors include: his wife of 58 years Mary Clark Ingram, Unicoi; son, Brian Ingram, Unicoi; daughter, Pamela Ingram Archer and her husband David, Hendersonville, TN; two sisters, Madeline Ledford, Baltimore, MD; Madge Peterson, Green Mountain, NC; grandchildren, Justin, Josh and Jenny Archer, Hendersonville, TN, several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the VA Hospital and Homebased Care, ICU team and Life Care Center of Gray for their kindness.
The family will receive friends from 4-6pm on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, prior to the funeral service at 6 pm in Henline Hughes Funeral Home, Bakersville, NC.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday at 2:00 pm with military services in the Troutman Cemetery in Buladean, NC.
Active pallbearers will be Rocky, Joshua and Jody Ingram and Justin, Josh, and David Archer. Honorary pallbearers will be Brian and Ira Ingram and Kenneth Roberts.
Memorials may be made to the charity of choice.