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Robert James Cummings « North Carolina's WWII ExperienceNorth Carolina's WWII Experience

Robert James Cummings

Hometown: Elkin, NC
Branch of Service:
Army, 773rd Amphibious Tractor Unit
Location of Service:

Robert James Cummings was drafted into the U. S. Army and went to basic training at Camp Croft in Spartanburg County, SC, on January 15, 1943. Prior to being drafted, he had worked with his father’s family in the logging business in Virginia and the Carolinas. Bob delivered the logs to the lumber mills and drove the big logging trucks. After basic training, he was assigned to Camp Hood, TX for tank destroyer training. While stationed at Camp Hood he married Hazel Mounce in May of 1944. She lived with him in Texas and at the next assignment at Fort Knox, KY. His unit, the 773rd Amphibious Tractor unit, trained at Fort Knox before being deployed to the Pacific through San Francisco and Hawaii. Batangus Bay, on the Philippine island of Luzon, was where the 773rd was stationed and attached to the Second Marine Division.

From the Philippines, this unit was transferred to Yokahama, a port city south of Tokyo, as a part of Operation Downfall. Bob drove one of the amphibious troop carriers. During this time, bombs were dropped on Japan, and they surrendered. Bob stayed in the Army for six more months, before being discharged on February 25, 1946.

Upon returning home, he saw Robert James Cummings, Jr., who was then five months old, for the first time. Nine months later, they welcomed a baby girl to the family. They went on to have two more daughters. Bob returned to the family logging business after the war for a few years. In the mid-1950′s he started working in trucking, and was a very successful owner-operator for many years. At age 85, he enjoys excellent health and still maintains his CDL’s for occasional work in his son’s trucking company. He enjoys his great-grandchildren, raising a garden with his wife, maintaining his home and grounds, and managing the land he has acquired.