I have been reminded that there is yet another Fulton County family whose extraordinary contribution to the nation during World War II should be memorialized: the Carrs. Five of them served in that global four-year conflict and all survived, just as did the five Daultons, five Smileys and five Saygers whose stories already have been recounted here.

The five Carr boys, with sister Bernice, were the children of Harley and Clara Gray Carr, farmers of the McKinley neighborhood east of Rochester. The boys were Howard, Robert, Weldon, Byron and the youngest, Russell Dean, who lives today in Kewanna.

Dean, as I knew him when we both were budding musicians in the Rochester High School band, was the only brother not to serve in the Army. He chose the Navy and became a quartermaster third class aboard LSTs in the Pacific for three years. He was at some of the island invasions of those campaigns and was assigned to the pending invasion of the Japanese home islands when the war ended. Afterward he served with the U.S. occupation forces in Japan.

Howard Carr, the eldest, was a corporal in the field artillery, seeing duty in the Philippines among other Pacific locations.

Robert Carr was in the thick of combat actions that followed the Allied invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944. He was a 60 mm mortarman with the 325th Glider Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division that landed on D-Day behind the front-line beaches. His unit was a part of the furious fighting by which the U.S. army broke out of the Normandy peninsula and he then remained in action for the rest of the European war, taking part in the invasion ofHolland and the Battle of the Bulge.

Weldon, known as Doc, took a shrapnel wound in the back in Germany, was captured by the Nazis but received good treatment from German doctors. His prisoner-of-war camp was captured in turn by Allied forces, he was sent to England to recover and then returned to the front lines.

Byron also was wounded in Germany but without the ensuing complications endured by his brother. Both Weldon and Byron won Purple Heart decorations.

All five of the Carr brothers returned to Fulton County after the war. Robert and Weldon died here of heart attacks. Howard's death took place in Oklahoma where he had moved. Byron was killed at his Argos residence by a gas explosion.

Their sister, Bernice, today is the 90-year-old widow of Delbert Hoffman of Rochester. She still savors her memories and the postal keepsakes that her brothers shared with her during those anxious years when they were in harm's way, so far away.

The Carr name is a familiar one in Fulton County because of B.F. Carr, the McKinley area farmer who was patriarch of the family. His five sons - Harley, Fred, Alonzo, Ray and Stanley - all raised their own families here.

Published Oct. 13, 1998