Joseph A. Maye
Biography: Joseph Arnold Maye was born on October 2, 1923, in Asheville, North Carolina. He was the son of William W. Maye and Olive R. Smith. He graduated from Edmunds High School in Sumter, SC. His draft card shows he was employed by the War Department at the Charleston Port of Embarkation, North Charleston, SC, in 1942.
Service Time: We don’t have an exact date when Joseph entered active service but he was assigned as a replacement to Company B, 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion on March 4, 1945. He served as a crew member on one of the unit’s M36 tank destroyers.
The 607th trained at a number of locations including: Fort Ord, Camp San Luis Obispo, Hunter Liggett Military Reservation and the Desert Training Center, all in California, along with Camp Hood, Texas and Camp Cooke, CA. While they originally trained with M10 tank destroyers, the unit was converted to a towed battalion, utilizing the M5 3” anti-tank gun, on December 15, 1943.
Arriving at Liverpool, England, on April 21, 1944, they continued training. Company B landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France on June 23rd and the 607th supported the advance on Cherbourg, fighting along the Seves River in July. They joined the drive to Le Mans and envelopment of the Falaise Pocket in August, advancing to the Moselle River in September and supporting operations against Metz through November. The unit converted to a self-propelled battalion equipped with M36 tank destroyers in time for the final assault on Metz. Continuing the drive toward the Saar River, they participated in the attack on Saarlautern, Germany, followed by the subsequent fight against the Siegfried Line in December.
The unit was deployed to the Ardennes sector in January, 1945 and again committed against the Siegfried Line in February in the Schnee Eifel. Supporting the capture of Koblenz, Germany in mid-March, they crossed the Rhine River at Boppard on March 25. The 607th continued to drive east through Hessen and Thüringen during April and reached the Czechoslovak border near Plauen by mid-April. Thereafter, they remained in defensive positions until VE Day.
Joseph was promoted to Private First Class (PFC) on June 1, 1945. On August 4th of that year, he was transferred to Company A and on the 19th, he was transferred to the 19th Reinforcement Depot and left the 607th. He was awarded the EAME medal, with credit for the campaigns of Rhineland and Central Europe, along with the Good Conduct, WWII Victory and the Occupation (Germany) medals. He left the Army on June 23, 1946, at the rank of PFC.
Joseph returned home and at some point he married the former Edna Jean Mosier of Sumter, SC. She was the daughter of Eugene T. Mosier and Beulah E. Way. They had two sons, Joseph A. Jr. and Anthony E. but the couple later separated. He later married the former Ruth Haring Bain. On February 20, 1948, Joseph volunteered for three years’ service in the U.S. Air Force. He served in the Korean War and retired as a Master Sergeant on November 29, 1968. He also retired as the Sumter County Maintenance Supervisor in 1988. Joseph was a member of the Paxville Baptist Church, the American Legion and the VFW.
Joseph passed away on February 13, 2002, and was buried in the Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery, Sumter, SC. We would like to thank him for his service to the country.