David D. Legros – WWII Veteran

By: Christian Bourgeois, Hunter Hargrave, and Paris LeBlanc

Born on April 22, 1920, in Jennings, LA, at the age of twenty-two, Mr. David Legros, was drafted into the U.S. Army.

Ranked as a corporal, he is a veteran of WWII, where he served in both North Africa and Italy.

As a young soldier, his basic training began in Camp Robinson, Arkansas. Although he could not specifically name his former instructors, he did say, “They were nice fellows.”

After his stint of training at Camp Robinson in Arkansas, he and his platoon were transferred to North Carolina, from which they were to embark on their mission overseas. Yet, once in North Carolina, for a reason that is still unclear to him, Mr. Legros was singled out and transferred to New Jersey, where he was deported to a mission in North Africa. Thus, he never truly fulfilled the job he was trained to perform.

On the ship, he recalls not knowing a soul. He vividly remembers being so sea sick on the journey that when they reached their destination, men literally had to be carried from the ship on stretchers.

While in North Africa, he was in charge of 150 Arabs; he fed, clothed, and helped them while sick. He did sustain injuries, yet not from direct combat; while there, he flipped the British motorcycle he was using as transportation. As a result, he was hospitalized for two weeks. While in the hospital with three other American soldiers, he remembers General Eisenhower visiting one of the soldiers who turned out to be his personal cook. Later that evening, he recalls a pie being delivered to General Eisenhower’s personal cook, and the cook divided the pie in four and shared it with his fellow soldiers. Thankfully, there were no casualties in his unit. “The good Lord was watching over us, and I am very thankful,” said Mr. Legros.

After his mission in North Africa was complete, Mr. Legros was sent to Italy, where he served as an MP. When asked about his most memorable moment, he said, “I was in Italy and went to a U.S.O. banquet. While traveling to the place where we stayed, bullets began to come through the sides. We all hit the bottom of the truck, and luckily, no one was injured.” While in Italy, Legros remembers the starving citizens of Italy, especially the young children. He recalls a time when they were allowed to get candy and gum, and one of the other soldiers offered his candy to a small child. Yet, when the child reached for the candy, the soldier took the candy and put it in his own mouth. This truly disgusted Mr. Legros, as he gladly gave his own candy to these starving children.

Since he had not seen his family in three and a half years, Mr. Legros stayed in touch with them by writing letters, which came and went at a very slow pace. The day his service ended, after traveling by train, he returned home on New Year’s Day, and his sister and brother-in-law were waiting for him. He recalls it being the first time they had ever seen him in uniform. He remembers his mother being extremely happy when he arrived home, for she had feared she would never see her son again.

Mr. Legros was awarded the WWWII Victory Medal for his service.

After returning home, he met his wife, Mrs. Wydell Legros in March. He spent the years following as a welder in the oilfield. Mr. Legros feels his experience in the war has made him a better person. He stated, “Although I was drafted into the Army, I was proud to defend my country.”

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