World War II Veteran US Army Signal Corps,
Tech Sgt. Fifth Army, 63rd Signal Battalion
James Monroe Newton served initially in the 63rd Signal Battalion and then was reassigned to the war in the Pacific Theater as a signal corps teletype operator. He enlisted on September 2, 1939, and was discharged on August 9, 1945.
James was born on December 13, 1915, on a small farm near Maloy, Iowa. He graduated from high school in 1933, during the depths of the Great Depression. He enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corp and served for four years. He was assigned to a CCC camp in Shenandoah, Iowa. He mainly worked on soil erosion projects in Iowa. The CCC camps were run by the US Army, so he had an easy transition to military life when he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
James was involved in the formation of the 63rd Signal Battalion and the training at Camp Claiborne, south of Alexandria, Louisiana. He was reassigned from Camp Claiborne to
Fort McDowell in California. From there he shipped to Australia and the South Pacific as a teletype operator. He spent 18 months in New Guinea as well. He was on a ship heading home when they received the news about a special bomb (atomic bomb) that was dropped on Japan. He received an Honorable Discharge after 6 years of service in the U.S. Army.
James tells some great stories about his time in the CCC and the Army. He also tells an interesting story about his younger brother who drove a tank on Omaha Beach at H-hour on D-Day. He was very proud of the 34th Iowa Infantry Division that trained and fought along with the 63rd SB during the war. At the time of this interview, James was 97 years old and exhibited an exceptionally lucid memory of his experiences in the CCC and WWII.