G. R. Williams
Master Sergeant
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 01/31/1944 - 5/1/1946
Port operations, tugboat operations, medical supply, 11th Major Port

Glassell was born on October 31, 1921 in Mira, Louisiana, to Vassar and Penny Callaway Williams. When he was three, the family moved to Smackover, Arkansas, where his father worked as a roughneck in the oil fields. The Williams' then moved to Ida, Louisiana, where Glassell finished high school in 1940. He worked in a service station in Shreveport, then another in Bossier City. He married Irene Gullion on October 22, 1941, and was employed as a bus driver at Barksdale Field when he entered the U.S. Army in 1943. After basic training near New Orleans, he was sent to Apalachicola, Florida, for tugboat training as part of the Army Transportation Corps. He was placed into the 11th Major Port, a company-size unit. He eventually made master sergeant. From Florida Glassell was sent to Boston, Massachusetts, where he departed on a converted Italian luxury liner to Plymouth, England. Sent on to France, he landed in LeHavre. For "about three or four months" he helped operate the port of Rouen, France on the Seine River, where his unit loaded and unloaded ships. Given the option of remaining in Europe for the occupation or returning to the States for assignment to Japan, Glassell came home on the Admiral Hugh Rodman. His train, en route to the West Coast, stopped briefly in Shreveport where he enjoyed a reunion with his wife and family that lasted "only thirty or forty minutes" before he had to continue his trip. He sailed to Yokohama, Japan, arriving "about October 5" of 1945, where he checked arriving ships for alcohol and drugs. He recalls the poverty among Japanese civilians, who ate out of garbage cans and lived in cars. He returned to America in April of 1946 and was discharged at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Back in Shreveport, Glassell worked for his father at a garage in Agars, before going to work for Southern Bell in 1952. He retired in 1981. Irene passed away in 1998. On August 26, 2000 he married Bernice Freeman.