John M. Welch
Lt Col
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 01/21/1943 - 02/12/1946
Infantryman - many citations/awards, 65th Infantry Division

Born in Little Rock, John came to Shreveport with his family in 1929. He attended McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a distinguished military prep school. He was a freshman at Texas A&M University in 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. John came home and signed up for the Army Air Forces on January 21, 1943, but did not pass the physical. Instead he signed on for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), which sent him to New Mexico A&M University. After ASTP was canceled, he entered the Sixty-Fifth Infantry Division at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. John left from New York City on Christmas Eve of 1944 and landed at LaHavre France. As a foot soldier in Company I, 260th Infantry Regiment, he fought across France and into Germany. His unit liberated a Nazi concentration camp at Matthausen, Austria. He was in Linz, Austria on VE Day. Discharged in early 1946, John returned to college, entered ROTC, and was commissioned. John then began a post-war military career in which he served in Germany twice, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as at stateside posts, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. John retired and in 1969 became Senior Army Instructor at Longview High School in Longview, Texas. He later worked for seventeen years in Longview as a licensed real estate broker and appraiser, before returning to Shreveport.