James Orville Stancil
  • Died Sept. 23, 2014
  • James Orville Stancil
    James Orville Stancil was born Oct. 10, 1921, and died Sept. 23, 2014.
    Jim's children

    With Betty Burton

    James Hilton 'Butch' Stancil
    Jan. 2, 1945 RI-

    Katherine 'Petey' Ann Stancil
    May 10, 1947 Va.-
    James Orville Stancil
    James Orville Stancil while in Marine Corp
    Marine Corp photo

    Jim is the son of Oscar and Mamie Hocutt Stancil and grandson of Henry Stancil.

    Katherine 'Petey' Stancil Reynolds' special memories of Jim’s six years in the Marine Corp. He enlisted into Marine Corp on June 3, 1940, and discharged in 1946:

    1 – Parris Island, SC, boot camp was where they separated the men from the boys and many times he felt like the 18-year-old boy he was.

    2 – During the four years in Newport a couple things happened that directed his future including meeting and marrying Betty as well as being a small part of history. The U.S. had captured a German submarine and sequestered it at the Naval Torpedo Station, which the Marines were required to guard. The communication line at the guard post used to report in had malfunctioned. Jim was the Sergeant of the Guard, therefore responsible for interfacing with the Telephone Company located on the base to escalate and correct the problem. Betty was the base operator and first point of contact. Picture a young Ohio girl telling a Carolina boy turned Marine that he couldn’t do something – and the rest is history.

    3 – When war broke out, the services recalled many retired officers, one being Col. Utley, a great sports enthusiast with a special love for baseball. He was dispatched to the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport. Col. Utley put Jim in charge of the "Athletic Platoon" and this was possibly the reason Jim served four years in Newport.

    4 – The Marines had a baseball team in the Sunset League, which consisted of 6 to 8 teams over the years. The League also had an All-Star team that played other All-Star teams all over New England. While a member of the Marine and All-Star team, Jim met several current and future big league players.
    5 – A 5-month stint at Camp Pendleton, Calif., gave Jim a good taste of Southern California, where he trained recruits for combat. Upon completion of this mission he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division on Solomon Island in the South Pacific. This location offered great training for jungle fighting and the historic landing on Guadalcanal. Jim completed his training and transferred to Okinawa.

    6 – The climate, vegetation and animals such as pigs, cows & chickens on Okinawa reminded Jim of his North Carolina home. Landing on Okinawa April 1, 1945, was Jim's first combat mission. The first day there he met Ernie Pile, who was the top war correspondent at the time. Mr. Pile was killed a few days later. Jim was wounded, evacuated to Guam for medical treatment, and then returned to Okinawa in time for the Okinawa surrender. Jim and his comrades continued their training for the evasion of Kyushu, Japan, which is south of Hiroshima. Before the invasion could take place, the atomic bombs were dropped and the Japanese surrendered ending World War II.

    Jim returned to the United States in November 1945. His next assignment was to Camp Lejeune, NC. Jim while on furlough, moved Betty and 11-month-old Butch to NC. Jim was discharged in June 1946 as a Sergeant.

    Source: Katherine 'Petey' Stancil Reynolds



    Remembering James Orville Stancil I just wanted to add one memory that was so close to me. Every October while Aunt Betty was still with us, they had an annual Oyster roast and fish fry at their house. I included not only the family, but those from their neighborhood, church and fellow employees of Uncle Jim and Aunt Betty's. Sometimes it was held close to mom's (Gurnie Stancil Crabtree) birthday and they would have a birthday cake for her. I remember Petey would have it decorated with mom's favorite saying "Well Ho"! It would read "Well Ho Gurnie, Happy Birthday."

     — Jane Crabtree O'Brien


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    | Modified Oct. 31, 2014