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Picturing the Past 26: WWII in Wartrace

Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at 9:22 AM

It's back to more photos of World War II maneuvers in Bedford County, and these also provide a look at Wartrace in the 1940s.

These three are provided by Jerry Fox of Wartrace, who says he doesn't know who the photographer was.


Here's a Jeep in front of the Wartrace well house. At far left the top of a gas pump is visible.


Here are a man and woman (anyone recognize them?) in front of a tank in Wartrace. In the background is the old NC&StL Railroad freight house.


These tanks are on Spring Street in Wartrace with the Walking Horse Hotel in the background. Note the Wartrace fountain, still there today and still working, to the left. Was Spring Street paved then? This looks like a gravel road.

There's also a photo in Bell Buckle City Hall of a tank which rammed a bank, and I've seen a newspaper account of a fatal military plane crash near Wartrace (I seem to remember several were killed) during those years. Obviously a busy time in Bedford County.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Your contributions are welcome.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

David, Thanks for three more great pictures from the WWII era. I read on the Camp Forrest web site that the whole area from Camp Forrest area to Nashville was used for maneuvers.

My guess is that Spring Street was not paved but I do not have any way of proving or disproving that. It is just a guess.

It is strange how the count is taken during wartime, but there are a lot of training accidents that end with fatalities.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 9:49 AM

This reminded me of the aircraft that was discovered in the Duck River a few years ago. I haven't heard anything more about it since an article in the T-G in September, 2006.

I wonder if a final determination was ever made as to what type of aircraft it was, and who the pilot and crew were, and thier fate.

For those who may not be familiar with this situation, the location of the airplane was near Normandy, and the article can be located by doing a search on the T-G for "airplane", without the quotation marks,then scroll to near the bottom of the results page.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 11:07 AM

ilikeoldsongs, I went back and read the article again about the plane or planes found near Normandy. It seems to me that would be a good project for an investigative reporter to follow-up on. Maybe a young energetic intern.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 11:40 AM

The fountain in front of the hotel was built by John Overall, the oldest son of Jesse Overall. Jesse and his sons John, Bob and Butler built the hotel in 1928, I think. I think the gravel road in the picture was over right next to the railroad freight house. There was a hook on the side of the freight house for hanging a bag of mail and the train would slow down enough to pick it up to take on to Nashville without ever coming to a stop.

-- Posted by luckylu on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 2:24 PM

David, the thing I remember about driving over to

Wartrace to see the Trains during The War was the

Hobos riding ON TOP of the rail cars....

-- Posted by FlaDon on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 9:20 PM

I can remember that my first train ride was in 1944 as my Mother and I caught the train at Wartrace to go visit my Dad who was in Boot Camp in the Norfolk/New Port News area.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Sep 18, 2009, at 6:50 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.