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MURRAY COUNTRY FAMILIES

Higdon, Conway C.


The 1930 Census listed Conway C. Higdon in the household of John B. and Naomi Higdon, in Alaculsa, Murray County, Georgia. The household included John B. Higdon, age 56; Naomi Higdon, age 52; Ollie M. Higdon, age 25; William E. Higdon, age 20; John M. Higdon, age 17; and Charles C. Higdon, age 6. The Census indicated that Charles was a grandson who had been born in Oregon. It also indicated that the boy's father had been born in Georgia.

Rather than calling him Conway, folks opted to call him Connie.

No enlistment form for this man was found. He was listed in the U. S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945, as Conway C. Higdon, white, male, Protestant. He was an Army, 2nd Lieutenant, Service number 715539, buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery. He died August 21, 1944.

On September 7, 1944, The Chatsworth Times reported his death. "Conway Higdon Killed in Italy. Second Lieutenant Conway C. Higdon, grandson of Mrs. Naomi Higdon, of Cisco, was killed in a plane accident in Italy on August 21, according to a telegram to Mrs. Higdon from the War Department received September 4. Lieutenant Higdon was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Higdon. Besides Mrs. Higdon, he is survived by one sister, Miss Star Higdon, of Aspen, Colo., and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Lillian Conway, of Aspen, Colo.

The officer, who was 21 years old, was born in Mill City, Oregon, but lived in Cisco from the age of two until a few years ago. He attended Murray County High School, Ensley High School in Birmingham, Ala., and Howard University at Birmingham. Before entering the service he was employed at Timkin Detroit Axle Company. He was graduated and received his commission in the Air Corps at Foster Field, Victoria, Texas, on March 12, 1944. Shortly after that he visited his grandmother at Cisco."

In that same newspaper, a regular column titled Cisco News, Bernita Harris wrote: "Another gold star goes into a window this week and with it goes a small village into mourning–mourning for one of our fine sons lost in the cause.

Last Monday, Mrs. Naomi Higdon received word from the War Department that her grandson, 2nd Lieutenant Conway C. Higdon had been killed in Italy in an airplane accident.

Friends went to the Higdon home to offer condolences to the bereaved–only to find no words to express what was in their hearts. They came away to go about their daily chores in stricken silence.

Somehow we tried to comprehend this awful thing, we kept thinking of Connie–not as a pilot of a fighter plane but as a little white-haired boy who had a liking for saltines and pecan pies. As his second-grade teacher, we remembered how he most always left his coat at school, his advanced ideas for a 7-year-old, the intensity with which he discussed a subject he loved, and how he always had his nose in a book oblivious to everything around him.

During those times when a boy must find an outlet for his artistic talents, Connie invariably came out with a new and improved airplane. (In a two-room school, art as a separate subject can hardly find a practical place in the curriculum.)

Years later came college days. There was a time during the Christmas holidays when we all went caroling. The youngsters away at school always looked forward to this season as a sort of reunion.

Finally the war came and Connie knew right away what he wanted. He applied for a place as cadet in the Army Air Corps. He was accepted and there followed months of hard work which finally bore fruit. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps in the spring.

It was hard to believe this distinguished purposeful young lieutenant wearing his wings could be our own Connie.

Yes, I think if Lt. Higdon could come back, his choice would remain unchanged. He loved his work dearly and we feel that he knew from the beginning that some must die that others might live.

I think that all of use will carry this mental epitaph for Connie as long as we live: Christ's own words, John 15:13 ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'"

 



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