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Barton Wayne Core

"This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that's the way its going to be. We're going down there, and we're throwing everything we have into it, and we're going to make it a success."

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, on the invasion of Normandy

Barton Wayne Core was born May 4, 1918, to Jessie June Chaplin Core and Earl Fleming Core in Blacksville, West Virginia. The 1920 census taker recorded that the family was in Monongalia County in the home of Lucille Chaplin, who was Barton Wayne Core's maternal grandmother. With them were several of Mrs. Chaplin's family, including her daughters Jessie Chaplin Core, Gladys Whetsel, and Eddis Chaplin, and sons, Arthur, Harley, and Kenneth. Mrs. Chaplin's son-in-law, Asa Whetsel, who was an insurance agent, also lived in the home. The census taker marked out Jessie Core's last name, leaving it assumed to be Chaplin and noted that she was divorced. If the couple were separated at that time, a reconciliation seems to have been reached by 1930, when the census taker found Earl Core in Grant Magisterial District of Monongalia County living with his wife, Jessie, and their sons, Barton and Earl Jr. Mr. Core was a laborer in a coal mine. In 1940, according to the U.S. Federal Census, the family was in the same house. Earl Core Sr. was then a carpenter in a mine.

Yearbooks for Fairmont State Teachers College, The Mound, document Barton W. Core's attendance at that institution. In the 1939 volume, he is listed as a freshman; the 1940 yearbook lists him as a member of the class of 1943. The yearbooks do not document his graduation; possibly he left school to join the war effort. (Fairmont State University's yearbooks have been digitized by the Marion County WVGenWeb project. Accessed 13 March 2020,

His name and his brother's name are found listed in the West Virginia National Guard Register in 1943. Barton W. Core's history with the Guard was listed from 1936-1943. He'd risen in the ranks from private in 1936 to lieutenant in 1941. His registration card for military service in October 1940 lists him as a student at Fairmont State Teachers College, and his mother as the person who�d always know his address. In November 1942, Barton Core's name appears among those of passengers on the USS Baranof. He is listed, among other military personnel, as a second lieutenant taking a leave of absence for Juneau, Alaska. The USS Baranof was headed for Port Althorp, Alaska, via Juneau. Barton Core's name was also found on the ship's passenger list in the return trip eight days later. A clue to the reason for the trip rests with his brother's military service. Earl Core Jr. served with the 201st Infantry Regiment, which had been stationed in Alaska since 1941.

From the West Virginia National Guard, Barton Core was placed with the 330th Infantry, 83rd Division. A booklet entitled The Story of the 330th Infantry across Europe is presented without publication information, but the foreword was written by Colonel R. T. Foster, 330th Infantry, Commanding. (Accessed 12 March 2020, The booklet is written as a first-person account and describes the author's experiences with the 330th. From the timeline presented in its pages, the 330th can be tracked from training in Camp Atterbury, Indiana, through Tennessee and Kentucky. The 330th left New York for England on April 6, 1944. The 330th spent nearly two months in the British Isles and then landed on Omaha Beach, France, on June 23, 1944, 17 days after D-Day.

The 330th moved inland, and the author of the booklet writes that the 330th "attacked every day for 23 straight days, from dawn until dusk." Further, Col. Foster writes, "We became exhausted, physically and mentally. It showed in our dirty and drawn faces. We lost our closest friends, reinforcements became veterans in a few days-if they lasted." A record was not found that indicates when Barton Core joined the 330th, but his death is recorded as July 25, 1944. The author of the booklet describes this chaotic day: "On the morning of the 25th of July, the bombers came; some 3000 of them, diver-bombers, mediums, heavies. On they came for eighty minutes. The air was filled with their noise and the dust rose for miles. It choked us. It was wonderful. We attacked again. The German lines were broken, we had helped open that hole. Then we saw the armor, the fresh divisions pass through that hole in the Germans lines we had fought so hard to open. The breakthrough had come." The after action report for the 330th also contains the description of a very hard day on July 25, in more stark terms. The after action reports for the 330th are available on a website on which documents from the 83rd Infantry Division service years are stored. (330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division Reports, accessed 23 February 2020,

Barton Core was listed as missing on that day of July 25, 1944. In keeping with the U.S. Army's official policy, the missing status was maintained for a year, and he was declared dead in 1945. Barton Wayne Core's remains were never recovered, and he is listed on the Tablets of the Missing, Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service.
Wall of the Missing, Normandy American Cemetery

Wall of the Missing, Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France. Courtesy American Battle Monuments Commission

Barton Core's brother, Earl F. Core Jr., who also served during World War II, lived to the age of 96. His obituary states that he was a schoolteacher in Los Angeles, was a veteran of World War II, and served with the 201st Infantry in the Pacific Theater. Several members of the Core family served in the military and were teachers, and it seems likely that Barton W. Core was named for an uncle, Barton G. D. Core, though it was the name of an earlier ancestor as well. Barton G. D. Core was serving with the West Virginia National Guard during World War I when he contracted the flu and died of pneumonia in 1917. Barton G. D. Core passed away the year before his nephew Barton W. was born.

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens, who gratefully acknowledges the input of a member of the Core family, Bradford Parker
February 2020


Barton Wayne Core

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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