Reilly B. Stonecipher was born on November 8, 1915 in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. His parents were George Clawson Stonecipher and Eva Caroline Bond. He was a 5th great grandson of Joseph Marion Stonecipher from Morgan County, Tennessee. He was the oldest of seven children. In 1933 he graduated from Haynesville High School in Haynesville, Louisiana. After graduation, he held various jobs until 1937 when he began his employment with the Maintenance Department of Louisiana State University. He held the job at LSU until about April of 1942.
Reilly then enlisted in the US Army at Camp Livingston, Louisiana on May 16, 1942 like many other young men responding to the invasion of Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the Armored Force and sent to Armored Force School at Camp Beauregard located at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In October of 1942 Private Reilly B. Stonecipher was certified as a Radio Operator/Maintainer at the school in Camp Beauregard.
Reilly was assigned to Company A, 81st Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 5th Armored Division, and his unit was transported to New York City. On March 31, 1943 his battalion departed from New York bound for the European Theater of Operations. It should be noted here that being in a reconnaissance battalion was in itself not a safe or secure place to be. Throughout most of 1943, his unit was involved in the North African Campaign, stationed in Tunisia. As late 1943 came around, they were reassigned to duty in the reclamation of Rome from the armies of Mussolini. Company A of the 81st Recon Battalion landed on the Anzio Beachhead on February 1, 1944. From there they made preparations and began a deliberate advance toward Rome. On February 20, 1944, PVT Reilly Stonecipher’s armored vehicle was targeted by the enemy and hit by shellfire as it continued to advance toward Rome. Private Reilly B. Stonecipher was Killed in Action when the armored vehicle was hit.
Reilly’s body was buried in Shady Grove Cemetery, Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
It is with deep respect and honor that I pay tribute to Private Reilly Buthay Stonecipher who gave his life defending the United States and its Allies from the Fascist/Socialist dictators of World War II. Thank you for your sacrifices to all those who fought and died in World War II.
I’ll see you on down the road.
Uncle Thereisno Justice