John G. Minniece Jr.
Lt. Col. John G. Minniece Jr. was killed in the bivouac area by a soldier of an adjacent unit. This is pointed out in order to show how the danger of night movement. In other words, countersigns ans passwords did not always succeed with nervous soldiers.
Source: The operations of the reconnaissance company 603rd Tank Destroyers, CCA, 6th Armored Division.
Joe Minniece was born in Meridian, Mississippi, on February 2, 1908. Before entering West Point, as a member of the class of ’29, he attended Mississippi A.&M. Upon graduation from West Point, after a detail in the Air Corps at Brooks Field, Texas, he was assigned to the Cavalry and joined the 1st Cavalry at Fort D. A. Russell. While at Fort D. A. Russell he married Laura Mitchell of Marfa, Texas.
In 1932 a change in assignment located Joe at the Cavalry School where, after completion of the Troop Officers’ Course, he was selected for the Advanced Equitation Course. After completion of these courses at the Cavalry School he was detailed in the Remount Service, and served at The Remount Depots at Fort Robinson, Nebraska and Front Royal, Virginia. In 1941 Joe was with the 5th Cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas, and was once again stationed at Fort D. A. Russell, when a portion of the 5th moved there during the same year.
The war found Joe in Texas and in the days when everyone was trying to get overseas, Joe joined the Tank Destroyers. He went overseas commanding the 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, and participated in the invasion of Europe. He was wounded in action on August 1, 1944 and hospitalized. He requested and obtained permission to rejoin his unit. He was seriously wounded on August 9th. During his service overseas he had received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Joe is survived by his wife, Laura, and one son, John G. Minniece, III, who was born at Fort Riley, Kansas, on February 12, 1933. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. John G. Minniece now reside in Mobile, Alabama. Two brothers are in the services, Captain Thomas Y. Minniece, who is serving in the Pacific, and Lt. Houston Minniece, who is in the Navy. One sister is married to Captain M. L. Rush, and now living at Camp Barkeley, Texas.
This is the record. However, there are many things that a bare record cannot tell. There was never an officer or a soldier having the opportunity who was not proud and happy to have served under Joe Minniece. There was never an officer or soldier knowing him who did not have the greatest of respect lor him. Joe took everything in his stride, from breaking a horse to commanding troops, in the same way—quietly, efficiently and calmly. He was one of those rare officers who never became excited when the going got tough, and was a steadying influence on those around him. We can only surmise that he died as he had lived—with courage, composure and natural dignity, ’29 has another classmate who has taken his place in the “long grey line” and one who will never be forgotten.