Pvt. Ray Collin Underwood
Pvt. Ray C. Underwood was
born on his family's small hill country farm on
April 31, 1917, in the Bounds Crossroads Community
in Itawamba County, Mississippi. He was the
son of Garvin Underwood and Mattie Lorene
Buchanan-Underwood. With his four sisters,
he grew up on the family farm which was east of
Fulton, Mississippi. By 1930, the
family was living on Bean Street at Garvin in
Fulton, Mississippi, since his father was serving
the county as the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Ray was enlisted in the U. S. Army in November 1938, and relisted on December 12, 1940. It is known that he did his basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. After basic training he was assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion. In the summer of 1941, his battalion was sent to Camp Polk, Louisiana.
the maneuvers that were taking place in Louisiana,
the 192nd Tank Battalion received orders that it
was being sent overseas. When National
Guardsmen from the battalion were released from
federal service, Ray either volunteered, or had
his name drawn, to join the battalion.
He was assigned to A
Company which originally was as a Wisconsin
National Guard tank company.