Biography: Homer “Red” Rush was born on December 4, 1915, in Rimer, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Simon Joseph Rush and Annie Theressa Delacour and attended the Tidle School through the 8th grade. During the 1930’s, Homer worked for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and as a coal truck driver. In 1941, Homer married the former Violet “Vi” Leone Reedy. She was the daughter of Herman Davis Reedy and Alma Peal Galbraith and was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The couple made their residence in Philippi, West Virginia, and he later worked as a steel worker.
Service Time: Homer entered the service on January 19, 1943, at Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania. His active service began later that month, on the 26th. During his training, he achieved marksman ratings for the .45 cal. pistol but expert ratings with the M1 Rifle, Thompson Sub-machine gun and the Browning Automatic Rifle.
His friendship with Willard Fullerton began when they met at the train station in Kittanning, PA. The two would serve together throughout the war as part of A Company, 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion. A photo of a towed gun crew (in the 817th page unit gallery) shows Homer as part of the team, but he would later become a Platoon Sergeant and was assigned to an M20 of Company A, as indicated by the unit’s history.
Homer received credit for each of the unit’s three campaigns, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe as well as the EAME Medal, the American Theater Medal, the WWII Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He left the service on February 22, 1946, at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, and returned to his home in West Virginia. He had reached the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Once back in the U.S., Homer found work as an equipment operator in a surface mining company. In his spare time, he enjoyed gardening and hunting. He was a member of the St. John’s Lodge #24, A.F. & A.M. at Shinnston, WV, and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason with membership in the Clarksburg and Wheeling, West Virginia bodies
Homer passed away on December 5, 2002, just one day after his 87th birthday. He was buried in the Jerusalem Lutheran Cemetery in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Homer’s good friend, Willard, attended the funeral service.
I want to thank Homer’s sister, Ellen “Dottie” Barrett, and her son, Edward, for providing the information and photos. I also want to thank Jerry Imperio and Ingrid Holzwarth for making me aware of Homer’s service in the Tank Destroyers and for their assistance in making the necessary contacts with the family.