Melvyn Graves, a private first class in the United States Army, was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge in France on Jan. 24, 1945. His position was under heavy mortar and artillery fire. Graves was hit in the neck by a piece of shrapnel.
Just one month before, on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1944, Graves wrote a letter to his young son, Robert. In the letter, Graves told Robert that he would be home the following Christmas and the family would all be happy together again.
Graves lived on Valley Road prior to entering the Army. He father, Herman Graves, served as mayor of Clark from 1927 until 1932.
Clark's Fallen Heroes profiles those 21 soldiers from Clark who died in service to their country. Author William Duffy’s research into Clark’s fallen heroes included such primary sources as United States military records kept at the National Archive, articles and reports from “The Elizabeth Daily Journal,” photographs, letters and, when possible, interviews with family members and friends of the deceased.
Find out more about William Duffy: One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead
The series runs daily through Memorial Day, 2017. Click for an index of stories.
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