- SILVER STAR AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY
Camp Swift, Texas - The Silver star, awarded posthumously to First Lt. James E. Connolly, Jr. of Lockhart, who lost his life trying to aid the withdrawal of a crew from a
crippled tank, was presented Saturday to his wife, Mrs. Mariellyn Connolly. The ceremony took place in the office of Col. O. P. Houston, post commander. Members of the family who was present were Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Connolly, Sr., parents of Lt. Connolly; Tommy Connolly, his brother; Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Andrews, parents of Mrs. Connolly, and Mrs. Henry Thraxton, 302 East 12th, Austin, Mrs. Connolly's aunt.
Lt. Connolly was a member of Company 1, 53rd Armored Division. A native of Lockhart, he was a student at Texas A&M when he entered the service in 1943. He was killed in action April 14, 1945.
The citation read by Maj. C.H. Latson, post judge advocate, related the lieutenant's heroic action as follows:
"Lt. Connolly was leading his platoon of tanks in the vicinity of Dessau, Germany, when the tank in front of his was hit and disabled by bazooka fire. Although he was without infantry support and he was in the face of well emplaced bazooka teams, he went forward with total disregard for his safety in order to enable the crew of the disabled vehicle to withdraw. His tank was also hit and he was killed.
Lt. Connolly's courage and devotion to duty reflect the highest of credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States."
SOURCE: Lockhart Post Register, Thursday, October 11, 1945, Lockhart, Texas, p. 1
Lt. "Mac" Connolly Killed In Germany
Mrs. Mariellyn Andrews Con-nolly received from the War Department Sunday morning the distressing information that her husband, Lt. J.E. Connolly Jr. had been killed in action in Germany.
He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Connolly, Sr. He was a member of
Company I, 53rd Armored Regiment.
The information is that two tanks had previously been shot from under him. The effect of the news on Lockhart people was depressing in the
extreme. It was passed from one to another in whispers or low tones.
Another son, one of the flowers of Lockhart manhood, gives his life
in the cause of Freedom just as the day of Liberty is dawning over the
world. He is one of those who has won the thanks of millions yet to
live on the earth. If sympathetic words could alleviate the keen grief
of the sorrowing family, they would be spoken without limit and written in volumes. The words of David Russell, poet laureate of Texas, apply in the present instance:
"When sorrow comes no word the mind can frame
Can bear the burden of our sorrows weight.
There is no shadowed syllable so great.
That it can clothe our grief. Tears are lame
Though they speak well. Silence alone can claim
Dominion in that hour, silence alone.
So in this hour we falter, blood nd bone,
Speechless before the news that leaps like flame."
"Mac" Connolly was a young man who enjoyed every opportunity in life and be it said to his credit, he availed himself of every advantage.
He was graduated from the Lockhart High School in 1941, entered
A. & M. College at the next term thereafter and while a student enlisted in the service of his country.
Edward Connolly's life was that of a true man, his death was that of
a hero. Though for him this community grieves, of him i is justly proud.
SOURCE: Lockhart Post Register, Thursday, May 10, 1945, Lockhart, Texas, p. 1