Maynard M. Delaney
T/5 Technician Fifth Grade
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 11/1972 - 1946
Infantryman/driver, 14th Armored Division
Audio Samples

Maynard, a resident of Doyline, Louisiana, was born in Shreveport in a shotgun house near the old Kickapoo Drive-In to Lewis and Rose Maynard, both of Sicilian descent. He was one of nine children. They included Rose, Roy, Joe, Dotty, Margaret, Mary, Mamie and Sadie. "My daddy's family moved to Alexandria and he wanted a wife, and he went back up to New Jersey and married my mother and came back with her." The families, he says, had lived in Patterson, New Jersey and neither, he recalls, spoke English well. He remembers as a youngster his mother crying. When asked why, she said she learned her mother had died in Sicily. Maynard attended Byrd High School for two years, then Fair Park High School. He had no time for sports or other activities. "I had to work," he says. He sold newspapers, collected scrap, and picked cotton, which is a painful experience, cutting his fingers and bruising his knees. Like other cotton pickers, he crawled along rows rather than bending over. His father farmed "on halves", meaning he tilled other owners' land and kept half his crop. The family also raised sugar cane and owned a cane mill. Maynard's job was to "make the mule walk around and make the grinder go." He and his mother fished at Cross Lake to provide for their dining table. Breakfast was usually milk and bread; dinner often was sweet or Irish potatoes they had raised. On Sundays the family attended St. Johns Catholic Church. Maynard graduated from high school in 1934. He worked with the newspaper rewiring generators and then began working for City Bakery that would change its name to Deluxe Bakery, then Purity Bakery then Boone Brothers Bakery. He often sold the breads to "little ol' stores". On July 21, 1939 he married Nell Skidmore in Dallas, a girl he spotted on a porch as he and a friend drove down Greenwood Road. They would have two children, Tyrone, now deceased, and Sharon, and three grandchildren. He and his young family moved to Dallas where he sold bread, but returned to Shreveport after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Maynard was drafted, sent to Camp Wolters in Mineral Wells, Texas, then to Camp Chaffee in Arkansas. When he got leave he often met Nell halfway in De Queen, Arkansas. He later took radio training in Louisville, Kentucky. Maynard went ashore at Toulon France as part of 14th Division. He helped erect bridges, including those over the Rhine and the Danube. He then was assigned as driver for the company commander of his headquarters company. He also took lots of photographs using German and French cameras. "Don't ask me how I got them. I didn't have to buy them," he remarks with a sly grin. He recalls liberating Stalag 7A, a German prison camp, and met General George S. Patton, Jr. "He was no coward. He didn't say, `You guys go.' He said, `Let's go.' That was Patton. He was guts and glory. He lived that way. I hated to see him get killed." Maynard accumulated 55 points as the war ended, enough for the army to release him. He sailed to New Jersey then took the train to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he was released from service as a Tech 5 (sergeant). He began hitchhiking to Shreveport, but caught eventually caught a bus. "The prettiest thing I'd ever seen was the big church on Texas Street coming across the new bridge," he recalls of his arrival back home. He soon returned to selling bread and other baked goods for Colonial Bakery. With his GI Bill he purchased a lot at Sunset Acres and had a house built. Maynard joined American Legion and remained active in the Shriners for many years.