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1926 Lee 2020

Lee Wreyford

1926 — December 26, 2020

Lee Wreyford, 94, passed away Saturday, December 26, 2020 in Arlington, TX. There will be a graveside service Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 1:00 PM in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Anson, TX. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Rd. Lee was born May 7, 1926 in Rochester, TX, Haskell County to Lawrence and Hattie Mae (Hester) Wreyford. He graduated from Rochester High School & joined the Navy as soon as he turned 18. Lee went to boot camp in San Diego, CA, and after boot camp was sent to Coronado Island for amphibious training (did not get leave like a lot of recruits did after boot camp). August 1944, Lee was assigned to a new ship, not yet commissioned, the USS Haskell Attack Transport Ship named for Haskell counties in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The Ship was docked at Alameda, CA and immediately started loading troops for war in the Pacific. On November 6, they crossed the Equator the first time and two days later crossing the international date time. The USS Haskell made three invasions where it landed troops and supplies in the Lingayen Gulf of Luzon, San Antonio Gulf of Luzon, and Okinawa. Lee was involved with landing troops, but was the “coordinating” boat which means his boat was in the water first going to the beach to be sure the water was deep enough to handle the crafts that would bring the troops in. During the time they were checking the water the ships were firing rockets that were going over their head. His boat stayed in the water the whole time the invasion was underway. He circled around in the water in case one of the other boats was “hit” and if they could save those aboard would do so. His boat had a huge pump to pump water out of the other boat if that was possible. His crew coordinated the landing of supplies, the military on land would communicate with them telling them the supplies needed and they in turn contacted the boat with those supplies. During the Okinawa invasion they were in the boat for 5 days. The Haskell also transported liberated POWs from Japanese prison camps to hospitals in Manila. From August of 1944 to March of 1946 the Haskell had crossed the equator 4 times, the International Date Line 10 times and crossed the Pacific 10 times delivering troops and supplies. The beginning of the invasion of Okinawa was April 1, 1945 and Lee turned 19 during this time. Last sailing was bringing troops home, landing in Seattle Washington February 1946. From Seattle she sailed down the west coast, through the Panama Canal on to Norfolk VA for decommissioning. Lee was aboard the Haskell when she was commissioned in 44 and aboard when she was prepared for decommissioning in 46 and had traveled some 130,000 miles aboard the ship. Lee was discharged May 23, 1946 at Camp Wallace, Tx. (Houston). Lee returned home to Rochester and attended Hardin Simmons University. During this time, he met and married Ruby Jo Baucum in Anson. They married November 4, 1948. She preceded him in death October 14, 2010. Lee is survived by two daughters Shari Bower of Arlington and Kelli Hamilton of Weatherford, a son Alan Wreyford (Mary) of Santa Fe, NM. Eleven grandchildren, Shannon McCulloch, Leslea Miller (Brad), Rachelle Young (Eric), Hollie Frazier (Troy), Ryan Wreyford, Justin Hamilton, Chase Wreyford (Jess) Brey Hamilton (Madison Villo) Stevie Becker (Mark) Brennon Hamilton (Susan) and Shelby Ervin (Josh). Twelve greatgrandchildren, Harris McCulloch, Deanna (Chandler) Gates, Nathan (Taylor) Miller, Bailey, Katie, and Lacey Frazier, Remington and Knox Wreyford, Zephaniah and Rebekkah Young and Asher and June Hamilton, one great-great-granddaughter Skye Rose Miller. Lee was preceded in by his wife Ruby Jo, one son Steve Wreyford, two brothers Lawrence and Donald Wreyford, a sister Georgia Sadler, and a son-n-law Les Bower.
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