Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Tommy Bellamy, who served in World War II with the 17th Armored Infantry Battalion in Italy, France and Germany.
Tommy Bellamy was born in Swainsboro, Georgia. He has always enjoyed telling stories, particularly about his service in World War II.
When Bellamy arrived in Italy in the winter of 1944, his unit stayed at a local dairy farm. As part of physical training, they frequently hiked 12 miles in the Italian mountains. Due to the freezing temperatures, there were food shortages. There was never a lack of work around the farm though.
His division traveled across France to Germany. Their orders were to advance to the frontline. To do so, his division had cleared the way for Allied tanks to make it through the narrow European streets. They came under fire, while German planes from above took turns diving in.
Finally, in the French city of Herrlisheim, a group of German troops surrendered to Bellamy and his unit. They even revealed that there were over 10,000 Germans on the other side of the mountain.
During his service, Bellamy received several awards. He received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star Medal, a World War II Victory Medal and a Combat Infantryman Badge.
He returned home and worked as a pilot, was a guitarist in several bands and owned a drive-in theatre. Together with his wife, Jeanette, they started a large family.
He passed away in 2011 at 89 years old.
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Editor: Micayla Costa
Fact checker: Kimberly Oliveira