Pfc. William T. Carneal was a member of troop Company D, 105 Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, which was forced to withdraw from position in Saipan, an island in the Northern Mariana Islands, when counterattacked by the enemy on July 7, 1944, the date that he was reported as missing in action.
After a year, the war department declared his death on July 8, 1945, giving his official date of death July 7, 1944, at the age of 24. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Presidential Union Citation and Combat Infantryman badge. His name is on the memorial monument in Honolulu, Hawaii.
W.T. Carneal was a 1939 graduate of Heath High School and attended Palestine United Methodist Church. He was inducted in the U.S. Army on October 13, 1941, took training at Camp Wolters in Texas and was sent to Hawaii in January 1942.
His parents were Plummer Thurman Carneal and Johnnie Ella Hite Carneal. He was 19 months old when his mother died and seven when his father died. W.T. Carneal (Teetum to his family) was the youngest of ten children. He was raised in the Grahamville community in McCracken County, Ky., by his sister, Ruth Carneal Anderson and her husband, L.O. Anderson, along with their daughter, Lou Ella Anderson Fields. He worked in the grocery store owned and operated by L.O. Anderson.
Surviving were three brothers, John D. Carneal, Monroe Carneal and James H. Carneal; and three sisters, Ruth Anderson, Ella Mae Waltmon and Elizabeth Sparks Gray, all of whom are deceased.
Living nephews and nieces are Carlton M. Carneal, J.T. Carneal, Mary Christian, Shelby Bishop and Doris Ann Saywell. Also, surviving are a number of great-nieces and great-nephews. Deceased nephews and nieces are Ernest T. Carneal, Lou Ella Anderson Fields and Jo Ann Carneal Simone.
The remains of W.T. Carneal were found in March 2013 on Pacific's Northern Mariana Islands by Kuentai, a non-profit organization that retrieves missing Japanese soldiers, with his U.S. dog tags, Heath High School class ring and American coins.
April 25, 2014, would have marked W.T. "Teetum" Carneal's 94th birthday. However, on this date, family and friends will gather to celebrate his life at 1 p.m. in the chapel of Lindsey Funeral Home, located at 226 N 4th St. in Paducah. A family member, the Rev. Robert (Bob) Saywell will officiate the service.
Although Mr. Carneal qualified by order of the president of the United States to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, his family has chosen to lay him to rest in his native Kentucky soil near his home place at Palestine Cemetery with full military honors, finally, after almost 70 years.
Friends may visit the family on Friday April 25, 2014, from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. at Lindsey Funeral Home at 226 N 4th St. in Paducah, 42001.
Online condolences may be left at www.lindseyfuneral.com