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John Ira Pinkerman

Courtesy Shelby Jean Clark

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


John Ira Pinkerman

"If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause and not for conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries. Here was our only conquest: all we asked . was enough . soil in which to bury our gallant dead."
Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark

Pinkerman family

Pfc. John Ira Pinkerman with his parents

John Ira Pinkerman was born September 25, 1921, on a farm in Cabell County, West Virginia. His siblings were Raphel, Mabel, Ruth, Josie, Eda, and Betty Pinkerman. John's parents were Ira Frank Pinkerman and Bertie Mae Shepherd Pinkerman. John attended school in Barboursville, and he was a Boy Scout and a farmer. He liked to sell and trade cars and horses.
Pinkerman home

The home where John Ira Pinkerman grew up still exists.

John was married to Geneva Alley and had a son named John Allen Pinkerman. His grandson is named Jordan and his granddaughter is named Sydney. John enlisted in the Army after high school on December 28, 1943. His service included England, France, Holland, Belgium, and Europe. He was sent to France as a private first class on January 18, 1944. His army draft record says he enlisted at Huntington, West Virginia, on December 28, 1943. His enlistment record says his civilian occupation was "Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor.'' His service in World War II was with the 157th Infantry, 45th Division, 7th Army. This unit was in the Sicily and Italy campaigns, but he was not with it at the time. He joined the 157th Infantry as they entered southern France in 1944.
Pinkerman family

John Ira, Geneva, and John Allen Pinkerman

Epinal American Cemetery

Epinal American Cemetery at Memorial Day. Courtesy American Battle Monuments Commission

On January 12, 1945, he died in action (KIA). Pfc. Pinkerman was received a Purple Heart. John Ira Pinkerman was buried at the Epinal American Cemetery in Plot B, Row 44, Grave 2. It is located four miles from Vosges, France, near highway N-57. The book If These Stones Could Talk tells the stories of World War II American veterans buried in overseas cemeteries. On Memorial Day, a French flag and an American flag are placed at each headstone at the Epinal Cemetery.

Family photos courtesy Pinkerman family. Article prepared by Keeleigh Blankenship, Jordan Derrick, and Malia Dukes, Fourth grade, Chamberlain Elementary School
April 2017


John Ira Pinkerman

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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