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Hayes West Virginia Veterans Memorial


Russell Samuel Hayes

"I know the sorrow this message has brought you and it is my hope that in time the knowledge of his heroic service to his country, even unto death, may be of sustaining comfort to you."

Russell Samuel Hayes was born March 25, 1921 in Chester, Hancock County, West Virginia. Roy and Edna Hayes were the proud parents who were blessed twice on that day with the births of Russell and his twin sister Ruth Fay. Shortly after the twins were born, the family relocated to Friendly in Tyler County where the father was originally from. As a boy Hayes was bashful but extremely friendly. He liked all kinds of sports, especially baseball, which he enjoyed playing during the summer months. The growing Hayes family which included mom, dad, Russell, Ruth, and younger brother Charles E. would expand with the birth of daughter Sylvia. This occurred in November of 1929 when the father began to work at Beech Bottom Steel, moving the family to Brooke County. The following years in Short Creek, Brooke County were the very happiest times for Russell Hayes and his family up until December of 1936 when his mother died. Russell and Ruth Hayes
Russell and Ruth Hayes
Duffel bag owned
Russell Hayes
Duffel bag owned
by Russell Hayes
Hayes was soon a young adult and would live with his aunt, Mrs. Warden Dearth, while working for the Wheeling Steel Corporation at Beech Bottom. When the United States engaged in the great World War II conflict, he joined America's fighting forces. Hayes entered the U.S. Army on October 27, 1942 and underwent a year and a half of military training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana and Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky. After his basic training at Camp Atterbury, Hayes informed the family that he was very nervous about the war. He doubted himself and his ability to succeed in the war effort. His uncle, Private Oliver E. Hayes, who was in the Marine Corps, helped settle his nephew's apprehension. Uncle Oliver reassured Hayes that when it was time to go to war that the U.S. Armed Forces has every soldier completely prepared.
In April of 1944, Hayes was assigned to fight the Germans in the war in Europe. At this point in his military career, he was ready for the most dire of circumstances, physically and mentally. Hayes was serving with the 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division when he took part in the invasion of Normandy in June of 1944. He was wounded during the invasion and would later die in a French hospital on July 23, 1944. Russell Samuel Hayes was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery in battle. He is buried alongside more soldiers of his outstanding caliber at the Normandy American Cemetery in St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France. Russell S. Hayes
Russell S. Hayes


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