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William Creed Brogan

Courtesy Russell E. Bennett Jr.

West Virginia Veterans Memorial


William Creed Brogan

"To get home you had to end the war. To end the war was the reason you fought it. The only reason."

Paul Fussell

Born March 28, 1924, in Mount Hope, West Virginia, to parents John and Ella Brogan, U.S. Army Private William Creed Brogan (who went by his middle name Creed) was one of many brave young veterans during World War II. William had three brothers, Pete, George, and Wilson Brogan, as well as two sisters, Fannie (Mrs. Lamer Walker) and Anna Mae Brogan. Prior to Creed's enlistment in the army, he was a small town farmer in Mount View, West Virginia.

On February 4, 1943, William Creed Brogan married Lila Genevieve Lilly in Hinton, West Virginia. Lila Lilly, only one year younger than Brogan, was born into the large family of Joseph E. Lilly and Virginia Ellen Ranson Lilly in Summers County, West Virginia, on July 7, 1925. Family historian and niece of Lila, Beverly Vera, in her Find A Grave posting, states that her aunt was a soft-spoken woman, with nothing but kind words to say. She was affectionate, caring, and touched the lives of all who had the chance to meet her. Together Lila and Creed had one child, William Creed Brogan Jr., born in 1943, the same year as their marriage. William Creed Brogan Jr. is still alive today and lives in the Beckley area with his wife, Shirley.

Although Creed and Lila were married in February of 1943, U.S. Army World War II Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, state he was single without dependents. Moreover, Lila is also not mentioned in the obituaries or death notices, and his mother signed the form for his headstone. Lila remarried after William's death and had three more children.

On October 15, 1943, William Creed Brogan enlisted in the United States Army at age nineteen. Creed received his basic training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and Camp Croft, South Carolina. Finally, in May of 1944, Pvt. Brogan was deployed overseas with the 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division. After only a few short months fighting for his country overseas, Pvt. William Creed Brogan was killed in action while serving in Burgundy, France, on November 29, 1944. Like many young men at the time, Brogan enlisted and died at a young age. He did not have the training and experience necessary. During World War II, young recruits engaged in what amounted to on-the-job training in a hostile, chaotic, and unfamiliar environment, which made survival difficult. The emotional toll these soldiers had was unbearable and they were not prepared for it. For the ultimate sacrifice, Creed Brogan was awarded the Purple Heart.

Pvt. William Creed Brogan's funeral was conducted Monday, December 4, 1944 at 2 p.m. at the Beaver Community Church in Beckley, West Virginia. Reverend D. R. Carder officiated with the burial to follow at the American Legion Cemetery with Post No. 32 performing the rites. He is buried at Row 9, Plot 4.

Marker for Creed Brogan in American Legion Cemetery, Beckley, West Virginia. Photo used with permission

Article prepared by Lexi Mallory, George Washington High School, Advanced Placement U.S. History
May 2015


William Creed Brogan

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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