Vernon L. Little, Jr.
Biography: Vernon Leslie Little Jr., was born on October 10, 1923, in Seaboard, North Carolina. He was the son of Vernon Leslie Little and Lizzie Davis and graduated from local schools in 1941. Prior to the war, he worked as a farm hand.
Service Time: Vernon entered the service on November 29, 1943, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After his initial training, he was sent to the TDRC (Tank Destroyer Replacement Center) at North Camp Hood, Texas, and trained as part of Company C of the 140th Tank Destroyer Training Battalion. At the time, his military specialty is listed as “Pioneer (729)” and he qualified as a Sharpshooter with the M1 Carbine. He completed his training on May 13, 1944, and would have been assigned to a unit.
The photo at left is Vernon while he was home on leave.
We do not know which unit he served in but he did receive credit for service in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, receiving the Theater Ribbon along with the American Campaign, World War II Victory and Good Conduct Medals. He left the service on May 16, 1946, at the 5th Replacement Depot in Alabang, Rizal, Luzon, Philippines. He held the rank of Technician 4th Grade.
The photo above left was taken in December of 1946 after Vernon was back in the U.S. Vernon is shown on the right with someone named Jack on the left. The other photo was taken in the early 1980s when vernon would have been around 62.
Vernon remained in the Philippines after the war and worked at, and possibly managed, a fuel (gas) station. He also entered into a relationship with a Filipino woman that resulted in the birth of a child. After a few years, he returned to North Carolina and around 1948, he married the former Vera Lillian Norman, who was born in Washington, D.C. and was the daughter of Henry Tillmon Norman and Gracie Hodges. The new couple made their home in Weldon, NC, and had two daughters, Norma, born in 1953, and Cynthia in 1962. In his spare time, he played guitar and bass in a local band.
Vernon passed away on March 29, 1985, and was buried in the Cedarwood Cemetery in Weldon, NC. I want to thank Vernon’s grandson, Philip, for providing the information and photos for this tribute. Thank you also to Margaret Gagliardi for the use of the grave marker image.