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Staff Sergeant Charles Evans Wrinkle was born 06 October 1923 near Laquey, Pulaski County, Missouri to Houston Boregard Wrinkle and Melinda Elizabeth (Evans) Wrinkle. Charles was the youngest of the couple’s five children, two girls and three boys, born between 1909 and 1923.
The Wrinkles, a pioneer family of Pulaski and Laclede Counties came to the area in the 1850s. SSGT Wrinkle was of the fourth generation of his family to reside in this area of the Ozarks. Houston B. Wrinkle served the Lebanon, Laclede County area for 22 years as a police officer, chief of police, and a police judge. Houston’s grandson, and SSGT Wrinkle’s nephew, Richard Wrinkle would later serve as a Lebanon police sergeant and as Sheriff of Laclede County.
SSGT Wrinkle lived most of his life in Lebanon, and attended Lebanon schools. In 1940, after having completed the 8th grade, SSGT Wrinkle was working as an attendant at a gas station.
When he registered for the draft at the age of 18, the family was living at 517 Pearl in Lebanon (no home currently exists at the address). In 1941, SSGT Wrinkle was 18 years old and working at Sidney Drug Company, 109 W. Commercial Street in Lebanon. He was about 5’ 8” tall with hazel eyes and brown hair.
He enlisted in the Army around 1942, and was eventually assigned to Company A, 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. SSGT Wrinkle’s brother, James Ralph Wrinkle, would also serve in the Army during World War II. Fellow Laclede County resident, Earnest Hoke, served in Company C, also of the 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. Hoke would lose his life before leaving the United States.
The 6th Armored Division is referred to as the “Super Sixth.” The battalion trained at Camp Cooke until January 1943 when they traveled to Camp Shanks, New York and embarked on the journey to England, via Scotland. SSGT Wrinkle would have arrived in village of Burford, Oxfordshire, England on February 25, 1944.
After training through the spring, the battalion left England on July 15, 1944 and 10 days later arrived at Base Camps on French soil, in the vicinity of Besnesville. After arrival, the 6th “passed through 8th Infantry Division to clear the heights near Le Bingard on 27 July 1944, and Combat Command A secured a bridgehead across the Seine near Pont de la Roque on 29 July 1944, and overran Granville on 31 July 1944. 6th AD then returned to Avranches, where it relieved 4th AD and secured the area bridges.” (6th Armored Division)
“In mid-August in Europe, the 6th Armored Division moved down to Lorient, where it was relieved by the 94th Infantry Division in September. Elements of the division participated in the Battle for Brest (7 August – 19 September 1944).” (6th Armored Division)
In August of 1944, SSGT Wrinkle was injured in the line of duty. Hospital admission records indicate that he injured his ankle. The next month, on September 25, 1944, Staff Sergeant Charles Evans Wrinkle was killed in action.
“And the men who fell in Britanny’s fields surely did not die in vain, for in making the supreme sacrifice they contributed to the freedom of the entire world, the same precious freedom that they themselves demanded, for themselves, and for their own countrymen.” -Sergeant Joseph D. Buckley, A History of the 50th Army Infantry Battalion
SSGT Wrinkle was decorated for outstanding conduct as a soldier and posthumously decorated for outstanding bravery.
Back home, SSGT Wrinkle’s remains arrived in Lebanon from Kansas City at the Frisco depot. Veterans were invited to meet the train in uniform. Funeral services were conducted at the Holman Howe Funeral Home by Rev. Raymond J. Tracey. SSGT Wrinkle was interred at the Lebanon City Cemetery where his parents were later laid to rest.
1860 Census De Bruin, Pulaski Co, MO p 28, Ancestry
Houston B. Wrinkle Obituary, Springfield Leader and Press, Springfield, MO, 27 Oct 1969, p 21, newspapers.com
WWII Draft Registration Cards, Young Men, 1940 – 1947, Ancestry
FindaGrave memorial #41100587, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41100587/charles-e.-wrinkle
Names and Addresses, Company A, 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, Our Proud History,
Obituary, Laclede County, MO, 1940 – 1946, Obituaries & Death Notices, Laclede County Historical Society, p 124
1940 Census, Lebanon, Laclede County, MO, sheet 7B, Ancestry
Along the Road to Combat, 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, Our Proud History,
6th Armored Division, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Armored_Division_(United_States)
U.S. WWII Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954, Fold3
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smartphone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen’s name and read his/her story.
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