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Mason County (West Virginia) WWII veteran to be honored by NASCAR on Sunday

By Chad Vaughn, River Cities Tribune and Register

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Coca-Cola 600 will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, and NASCAR will honor veterans with the “600 Miles of Remembrance.” The commemoration is a part of the organizations “Salutes Together” program.

The tribute will include the names of fallen service members displayed on the windshields of NASCAR Cup Series cars, and the NAPA Salutes car. One of the names to be displayed is that of Harry Caudill, who was born and raised in Mason County. Caudill lost his life in World War II. Caudill will be honored on a grand marshal car.

Harry Caudill was born to Willard and Carrie Caudill on Aug. 20, 1917, and was one of 10 children. Caudill was raised in the Crab Creek area. He married Ruth Crump on September 26, 1939. They had two children, Gerald and Sharon, who are deceased.

Caudill was drafted into the Army in March of 1944 and landed on Utah beach on June 6, the same year. He was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, which is among the Army’s most distinguished regiments. They would see horrendous fighting on Utah beach, and over rough, gullied, heavily forested terrain with the objective of getting to the Rhine River for a general build-up of allied forces.

The Battle of Hürtgen Forest began on Nov. 16, 1944. Caudill was killed on Dec. 3, 1944, the same day the regiment was moving forward and would finally see a break in the daily heavy fighting. The fighting ceased the very next day. The battle resulted in approximately 34,000 U.S. casualties.

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