Rubert A. Sharp
Biography: Rubert Andrew Sharp was born on May 6, 1922, in Madison County, Alabama. He was the third son and sixth child, of a total of seventeen, born to Brooks Crutcher Sharp and Lola Mae Hall. He attended local schools through the grammar level and since he was one of the older siblings, he worked in the crop fields to help support the family.
Service Time: Rubert entered the service on January 17, 1940, at Fort Benning, Georgia. After his basic training was completed, he was assigned to Company B of the 894th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He trained with the unit and is listed on their Christmas Dinner Program in 1941. At the time, they were stationed at Fort Benning.
The unit shipped out from the New York port on August 6, 1942, and arrived in England on the 17th. Five months later they arrived in North Africa and were committed to battle on February 20, 1943, at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia and then supported the capture of Bizerte.
They landed in Italy in late October, 1943, and were located in the vicinity of Pignataro in the Migniano sector as of December. They then transferred to the Anzio Beachhead on January 25, 1944, where the battalion supported mainly British troops. The 894th entered Rome in June and crossed the Arno River at Pisa in September. They were mired at Porretta Terme late that year through early 1945.
The 894th received credit for campaigns in Tunisia, Napples/Foggia, Rome Arno, the North Apennines and the Po Valley. The unit was awarded the Croix De Guerre and Company B also received the Distinguished Unit Citation for their actions from February 1st to the 16th, 1944, near Carroceto, Italy.
Rubert shipped home from Oran, Africa, arriving in New York, NY, on December 24, 1944. He was finally discharged at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, at the rank of Corporal. His early return home might have been due to his 1940 entry into the service. This fact may have allowed him to rotate home on points prior to the end of the war.
After returning to the U.S., Rubert married the former Edna Hillis who was born in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama, and was the daughter of James and Josie Hillis. The new couple made their home in Huntsville, Alabama, and had two sons, Robert and James. Rubert went to school to learn auto body and collision repair but eventually find work with both Ford and Chrysler setting up assembly lines for the manufacturing of car parts. In his spare time, Rubert enjoyed fishing and loved to garden and to can/preserve the vegetables he had grown. He was very proud of his service with the 894th and attended their yearly reunions and was also a member of the New Salem Baptist Church.
The photo above left shows Rubert with his wife Edna and sons, Robert and James “Jim”, on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary. The photo at right shows Rubert with his older brother, John Leroy “Roy” Sharp, who was killed on July 15, 1944, at Caen, France. Several other brothers of Rubert also served in the military.
Rubert passed away on August 6, 1998, and was buried in the Charity Baptist Church Cemetery, in Hazel Green, Alabama. I want to thank Rubert’s granddaughter, Gina Hicks, for providing the photos and information for this tribute.