WWII soldier KIA will return Friday to North Carolina

Lumber Bridge native will return to Robeson County for burial on Tuesday

Staff report



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    RALEIGH — The North Carolina National Guard announced today that it will conduct a dignified transfer Friday of the remains of 1st Lt. James E. “Dick” Wright at the Raleigh Durham International Airport.

    The transfer will take place at 6:45 p.m. Friday at the airport. Wright, born Oct. 16, 1918, was killed in action in the vicinity of Dornot, France on Sept. 10, 1944. He is the son of the late Robert Arthur Wright Sr. and Maime Chason Wright, of Lumber Bridge.

    Wright was a member of L Co, 120th Infantry Regiment based in Parkton, N.C. prior to his transfer to F Co, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment in the 5th Infantry Division in 1942, according to the North Carolina National Guard.

    “Wright was assigned to the 5th Infantry Division, a part of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army in Sept. 1944. On the morning of Sept. 8, 1944, Wright’s unit was part of a larger force ordered to cross the Moselle River and take up a position in the woods. The force held its position against the Germans and took heavy losses until Sept. 10, 1944 when they crossed the river again,” according to the NCNG.

    Soldiers were then allowed to retreat. At that time some soldier began to look for wounded Americans.

    “Wright had already taken a boat to the German-occupied side of the river and rescued three wounded servicemen, ferried them back to safety with the Allies, and was last seen crossing the river again toward the German lines to search for more wounded,” according to the NCNG.

    He was given a Silver Star after his death for his actions to rescue the wounded men. Wright was reported missing Sept. 10, 1944. His remains were identified in July. He will be buried on Tuesday in Oakdale Cemetery in Lumber Bridge.

    His services are entrusted to Lafayette Funeral Home. Visitation will take place 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at Lumber Bridge Baptist Church, located at 100 Church St. in Lumber Bridge.

    1st Lt. Wright’s Funeral Caisson will depart at noon from Lumber Bridge Baptist Church to arrive at the cemetery. The graveside service will follow with U.S. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Douglas Alan Windley officiating.