Sergeant Elwood C. Haston - Veteran of WWII in Europe

Soldier from the "Greatest Generation"

On this day, July 11, 2022, Sergeant Elwood C. Haston would have been 100 years old.  Today, and in future days when you read this article, we hope you will say “Thank you, for your service!” in your heart for this brave American. His service for our country should make all of us in the Daniel Haston family proud to be Americans and proud to be Hastons or Haston relatives.

When the army moved into Belgium, the Vanguard unit overran a German position at a road checkpoint. One of the guards was beating this dog with a leather strap. Elwood captured the guard and turned him over to a POW unit. He kept the dog with him for the rest of the war but had to leave him with an occupation unit.
Elwood Haston was born in Cummingsville, TN on July 11, 1922, the son of Taylor Casto Haston and Ida Grace Jordan. 

Elwood Haston's Draft Registration and Draft

Elwood registered for the draft on June 30, 1942, and was drafted on December 7, 1942, into the US Army.  He reported for training at Fort Oglethorpe, GA.  After his initial training as a telegraph and radio operator, on August 20, 1943 Elwood was transferred by sea to England.  He arrived there on September 4.   

Operation Exercise Tiger - The D-Day Rehearsal

Elwood Haston participated in Exercise Tiger.

It was supposed to be a secret: On April 28,1945, hundreds of allied troops carried out a training mission off the British coast. It was a rehearsal for the D-Day invasion of France, but unlike that mission, the Nazis found out, and it would cost hundreds of American lives. -CBS News  

Please watch the videos to understand how Elwood Haston and thousands of other American sailors and soldiers fought bravely against the odds stacked against them to stop Adolph Hitler and his German Nazis from controlling Europe and, perhaps later, the United States.  

Company A, 1st Infantry Division, 35th Signal Battalion

35th Signal Battalion

Elwood Haston was assigned to Company A,1st Infantry Division, 35th Signal Battalion.

Company A was the unit Elwood remained with until the end of the War. The 35th Signal Battalion was established in England and assigned to aid the Beach landings in France. Each of the companies was embedded in a beach landing. A Company was assigned to First Army ( Big Red One). Various specialty groups were embedded with the Signal Corps: Stars and Stripes war correspondents, photographers, and cameramen.  They came ashore at Omaha Beachhead.

Omaha Beach Landing

The First Army landed on Utah and Omaha Beaches on June 6, 1944.  Signal personnel in A Company went ashore with the first wave arriving on Utah Beach at 7:30 am. Their landing craft ran aground and flooded 400 yards from shore. They waded and swam ashore with full packs, guns, and equipment. They fought continuously in Normandy, Northern France (Liberation of Paris) the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), the Rhineland, and Central Europe. They were the first on the beaches of Normandy, the First to enter Paris, the first to break the Siegfried Line, the first to cross the Rhine River, and the first units to link up with the Russians at the Ebi River where they were ordered to stand down and allow the Russian Force the honor of capturing Berlin. Seven Corps and 40 Divisions fought in the First Army.

Reminders of His Brave Service

  • World War II Victory Medal
  • European Campaign Medal with five campaign stars
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • American Defence Medal
  • Army of Occupation Medal
  • French Government Awarded – Croix de Guerrero Medal for Participation in the beach landing and liberation of Paris
  • Presidential Unit Merit Wreath Patch
  • Combat Infantryman Badge
  • Honorable Discharge Patch
  • “Ruptured Duck” Patch Combat Unit Patch
  • 1st Army

Elwood's Lineage in the Daniel Haston Family

c. 1750
Died 1826
Daniel Haston

Daniel Haston was born in about 1750 to Henrich Hiestand (and wife unknown) on the Hiestand farm on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River in what is now Page County, VA.

January 9, 1780
Died c. 1830
Joseph Haston

From what is known about the Daniel Haston family, Joseph was likely born on Passage Creek in Powell's Fort Valley on the Massanutten Mountain, northeast of New Market, VA.  

November 25, 1807
Died February 1, 1880
James Alford Haston

James Alford and Livinia Fidella King Haston Family - About 1860.  James Alford Haston was a prominent civic leader in Van Buren County.  He served about 20 years as a Justice of Peace for his district. 

April 25, 1844
Died January 2, 1923
John Taylor Haston

John Taylor Haston enlisted in Colonel Murray's Fourth Tennessee Confederate Cavalry at Chattanooga, TN on June 14, 1862.  He was captured and sent to Camp Morton military prison in Indianapolis, IN--one of the most inhumane northern Civil War prison camps. 


December 10, 1887
Died August 24, 1960
Taylor Casto Haston

Taylor Casto Haston married Ida Grace Jordan.  They were the parents of 12 children, 10 of whom lived to maturity.  Two of their sons served in World War II.  Taylor Casto served in a variety of Van Buren County leadership roles and was a supporter of fellow-Haston, Ernest Nathaniel Haston.  After the war he worked for General Electric Corporation in Mansfield, OH.

 

 

July 11, 1922
Died October 14, 2007
Elwood C. & Thelma Louise Roberts Haston

After the War in Europe ended Elwood returned with his unit to Fort Polk, Louisiana.  His unit was placed on inactive standby and issued tropical uniforms and gear to go to the Pacific arena and join in the projected invasion of the Japanese homeland. During this period he married his childhood sweetheart Louise Roberts from his hometown of Spencer, TN on July 7, 1945.  She was 16 years old.  They were living in Louisiana when the war ended.  Elwood and Louise were married for 62 years when he died on October 14, 2007.

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2 thoughts on “Elwood C. Haston

  1. Thanks for this article on Elwood. My Great Uncle Robert Grissom went in with Elwood and was in Operation Tiger but went down with His Landing Craft when the Germans attacked. Elwood was on one and Uncle Robert one of the others. Separated due to H and G their last name.

    1. Thanks, Kelly for your comments. Interesting that the difference between H and G was a life or death issue.

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