Aaron Samuel Castellaw enlisted in the United States Army December 2, 1939. He was killed in action near Colmar, France in January, 1945.
This is from an email I received from Dwayne Castellaw:
"Uncle Sammy and his wife (and I believe her name was Billie) did not have any children. About eight years ago Laura, our youngest son Chris and myself took a trip to France and Germany for a couple of weeks and in our travels we specifically went out of our way to locate the town Uncle Sammy was killed in or near. We took that side trip as much for my Dad (he never really got over Sammy's death) as we did for ourselves. While we couldn't locate the exact village we were definitely within a few kilometers of the battle so we pulled off the side of the road, put a picture of Uncle Sammy up on the dash, opened a bottle of champagne, cut into some great French cheese and bread and made a big toast to him and his memory. I remarked to Laura how much the surrounding area really resembled West Tennessee and I wondered if it may have caused him to think of home. They were really close to Colmar, France which is right near the Rhine River which separates France and Germany at that point and his unit was doing some of the final push driving the German soldiers back into Germany."
From a later email I received from Dwayne Castellaw:
"Another note about him that I meant to tell you was he was originally buried in France. It was due to Ms. Agnes' persistence with the US Government that they shipped his remains back to Tennessee. He was my Dad's younger brother and Dad's biggest regret was he didn't get to travel to Ft. Benning, Georgia to see him before he left. That's why later in my life I finally understood why Dad was so adamant about coming to see me right before I left for Vietnam. I too was shipping out from Ft. Benning and I think the thought of it happening all over again lingered over him and helped him make his decision. Even though I had been to Memphis about three weeks before on leave he was coming down to see me off. He wasn't going to have it any other way."
My note: Unless the date listed in Sammie's obituary transcription (found on tn-roots.com) is wrong, and I don't believe it is, it took Agnes more than three and a half years to get Sammie home.
These pictures and news clipping provided courtesy of Dwayne Castellaw:
Malcolm Robert Castellaw age 5
Aaron Samuel Castellaw age 2
James Francis Castellaw age 8
Aaron Samuel Castellaw - abt 1939
Aaron Samuel Castellaw with wife Billie
Letter to Mrs Aaron Castellaw - 1945
This picture belonged to my mother, Julia Castellaw. It's provided courtesy of my niece, Shana Moon.
Aaron Castellaw grave - notation on back written by his mother, Agnes Parlow Castellaw to her granddaughter, Julia Castellaw. "Tec. Sgt Aaron S. Castellaw grave at Holly Grove Cemetery. To Julia by Grandmother."
Julia Laverne Castellaw, niece to Sammie Castellaw
Malcolm Dwayne Castellaw, nephew to Sammie Castellaw
Jacquelyn Stewart, niece to Sammie Castellaw
Martha Jean Wilson Mann, first cousin, once removed (in-law) to Sammie Castellaw
heritagequestonline.com - Madison County, TN 1920 US Federal Census (image)
ancestry.com - Haywood County, TN 1930 US Federal Census (image)
aad.archives.gov - World War II Army Enlistment Records
ancestry.com - Chattahoochie County, GA 1940 US Federal Census (image)
findagrave.com - headstone (image)
tn-roots.com - Aaron S Castellaw obituary (transcription)