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Lawrence James Wildes

Lawrence James Wildes

Male 1917 - 1999  (82 years)

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  • Name Lawrence James Wildes  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Born 31 May 1917  Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1920  Folkston, Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Residence 1930  Militia District 32, Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Military 29 Jul 1940  Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    SSN issued Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Occupation Retired Railroad 
    Residence Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Social Security Number 465-12-1255  [2
    Died 13 Jul 1999  College Park, Fulton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Lawrence J. Wildes Sr., 82, took part in 1937 Earhart search
      Author: Kay Powell; Staff

      While he participated in the massive naval search for missing pilot Amelia Earhart in 1937, Lawrence J. Wildes Sr. of Fayette County had no sense of the future impact of his mission.

      "He was not aware he was a part of history because he wasn't aware of the part she'd play in history," said Mr. Wildes' daughter, Carolyn Cunningham of Mableton. "Later it hit him."

      Mr. Wildes, 82, died Tuesday at Vencor Hospital Atlanta of complications from open heart surgery in 1998. The funeral is 11 a.m. today at H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill.

      He joined the Navy in 1934 and was a fireman on the USS Lexington in July 1937 when Ms. Earhart disappeared on her attempt to fly around the world.

      Ms. Earhart was last heard from on July 2, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a massive naval search that included the Lexington. Before the search was called off July 18, the Lexington crossed the equator and international dateline at their intersection, the first time that had been done in more than 100 years. Mr. Wildes had a certificate commemorating that July 14 event, said his wife, Edwina Wildes.

      "He thinks she and that navigator were probably charting -- I don't mean they were spies -- maps for the United States," said Mrs. Wildes. The Lexington's charts of the area were used in World War II, his daughter said.

      Mr. Wildes spent four years in the Navy. "He had kind of been rebellious toward someone in authority over him," said his daughter, and he was dishonorably discharged. But in 1940, he enlisted in the Army, fought in Europe in World War II and received five medals. One was the Good Conduct Medal and another was the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver service star for his participation in five campaigns, including the Battle of the Bulge and the Normandy invasion, she said.

      The war made him an inventor. "It was just so hard for the soldiers to get shells extracted and keep the machine guns going," said his daughter. "He invented a device to put in the barrel and get it out real quick and keep going."

      Working for Atlantic Coastline Railroad, now CSX, after the war, he moved to East Point in 1968. He specialized in timber inspection and treating railroad ties. Ties had to be air dried before they were preserved with creosote. Mr. Wildes devised a drying shed to improve the process, and it gained widespread use, said Mrs. Cunningham.

      Survivors other than his wife and daughter include a son, Lawrence J. Wildes Jr. of College Park; a sister, Aderine Reynolds of St. Marys; and three grandchildren.

      Copyright 1999 The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
    Buried College Park Cemetery, College Park, Clayton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I3263  tng Genealogy

    Father James Maximillan Wildes,   b. 6 May 1877, Traders Hill, Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jul 1951, Folkston, Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Katie Sophrenia Altman,   b. 6 May 1881, Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1974, Camden, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 3 Oct 1900  Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1022  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Edwina Cox,   b. 7 Oct 1920, Dunwoody, De Kalb, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jan 2012, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Married 17 Jun 1948  Folkston, Charlton, Georgia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Living
     2. Living
    Family ID F1424  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 31 May 1917 - Charlton, Georgia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1920 - Folkston, Charlton, Georgia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - 29 Jul 1940 - Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsSSN issued - - Texas, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Charlton, Georgia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 17 Jun 1948 - Folkston, Charlton, Georgia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Jul 1999 - College Park, Fulton, Georgia, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Lawrence James Wildes photo
    Lawrence James Wildes photo

  • Sources 
    1. [S302] U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, National Archives and Records Administration, (Name: Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005;).
      Online publication - NARA. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005.Original data - Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the NARA, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

    2. [S344] Social Security Death Index, Ancestry.com, (Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2009;).
      Social Security Death Index.
      http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=ssdi&h=67269911&indiv=try

    3. [S347] 1920 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2005;).
      Year: 1920; Census Place: Folkston, Charlton, Georgia; Roll T625_238; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 55; Image: 458.
      http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1920usfedcen&h=63790830&indiv=try
      [ View Federal Census Document]

    4. [S337] 1930 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2002;).
      Year: 1930; Census Place: Militia District 32, Charlton, Georgia; Roll 343; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 3; Image: 584.0.
      http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1930usfedcen&h=18985572&indiv=try
      [ View Federal Census Document]