Saturday, November 8, 2014

Phelon Thomas Young Tidwell and the Croix De Guerre #52Ancestors #42

Phelon was the son of Phelan and Sarah McCullough Tidwell. He was born July 22, 1894 in Perry County, Alabama. He was the eighth of nine children.

April 19, 1917 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was shown in the muster rolls as a private, attached To Company "G", Marine Barracks, Port Royal, SC. In June of 1917, he is shown as a private in Company "F" Marine Barracks, Paris Island, SC, and Seventeenth Company, Fifth Regiment, Infantry Battalion, Quantico VA.

Phelan Tidwell, Jr
He rejoined September 1918, and is shown as Corporal Phelon Tidwell, Jr.

I found this entry from July 1919, but I have no idea what the abbreviations stand for.

Also found in July, 1919, Machine Gun Company, 5th Regiment, USMC. This one made me smile, notice the entry above Phelon..I wonder if he's related to Gomer...

By August, 1919, Phelon is shown as a Sergeant, attached To Company "A", (17th), 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment. This appears to be his discharge.

This appeared in the Birmingham News June 1, 1932:
By Sergeant L. E. Jaeckel


"Phelon Tidwell, Jr. (Army Serial No. 116308), Private, 17th Company, 5th Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Force. He displayed remarkable coolness and great bravery in the attack of July 18th near Chaudum. His automatic rifle having become jammed, he put it again in working order and continued in the advanced against a terrific hostile machine gun and shell fire, displaying at all times a contempt for the dangers which momentarily threatened his life. Residence at enlistment, West Blockton, Ala. A Silver Star to be worn with the Croix De Guerre."

This would have been in 1918 in the battle of July 18 to 20 - Dommiers Chaudum
Croix de Guerre from Wikipedia

At some point Phelon chose to be known as Thomas Young Tidwell. He married Ethel McKay in the early 1920's. They had three children: Thomas Young, Jr born 1922, Robert Lee born 1925, and Dorothy Ann born 1929.  Dorothy was the only child to survive to adulthood.

Phelon Thomas Young Tidwell

Many thanks to my cousin Sandy Grods for the pictures and the story.

Thomas Young Phelon Tidwell Jr, 74, of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla, who died Friday, was a retired employee of U.S. Pipe Co. here. Graveside service was today at Elmwood. Survivors include his wife, a daughter Mrs. William C. Ireland, Birmingham; a sister, Mrs. W. H. Ellis, Bessemer; a brother, Kess Tidwell, Dallas Tex.

Published in the Birmingham News Feb 10 1969 Metro Edition Page 35