612th Tank Destroyer Battalion Association

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Charles William “Bill” Townsend, 88 of St. Petersburg, FL died Sunday, October 16, 2005 at St. Petersburg General Hospital. He was a native of St. Petersburg and graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1934. He was the manager of Townsend Dry Cleaners and worked in retail sales

for Easton Furniture Company and Maher Furniture Company. He was a member and a lifetime deacon of First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. He served in the 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion in WWII. Captured at the Battle of the Bulge, he was held prisoner of war in Germany. He received a Good Conduct Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star in connection with combat at St. Lo, France. Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Ruth Woolley Townsend; two sons, Robert C. “Robb”, St. Petersburg, and Richard C. “Rick”, Milford, N.J.; a daughter, Julia A. “Juli”,Tanner, Charleston, S.C.; three sisters, Olive Bowyer and Florence Mullinex, both of Bakerville, N.C., and Ruth Amiro, St. Petersburg; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Arrangements were made by Anderson-McQueen Funeral and Cremation Centers-N.E. St. Petersburg.

Following is a letter I received from Ruth Townsend:

Dear Susie,

Katherine Phillips called me yesterday after she learned of my husband’s death.  She asked me to mail you the enclosed (obituary) and tell you a little about Bill’s illness and death.

He had been in and out of the hospital this past year, suffering with pneumonia from aspiration. He was in the hospital when he died very suddenly only about an hour after he had eaten his breakfast of pureed food on Sunday, 10/16. His nurse found him unresponsive and CPR failed to revive him. The doctor said he felt sure that Bill died very suddenly with very little pain. We are grateful for that.

After my son talked with the Director at American Ex-POW headquarters and learned all they do to help widows and families, we decided to suggest memorials to that organization. The check I received from George Karaphillis will go to them in the name of the 612th T.D.B. Bill enjoyed all the material he received from the 612th. Among the memorabilia at his funeral service was his jacket with the 612th insignia. That created a lot of interest! Although Bill did not retire from the military, a local VFW asked to give him a military burial with the bugle, gun salute and flag presentation. We all appreciated that as his 612th and POW buddies meant so much to him.

Our family appreciates your interest in this.

Sincerely,

Ruth Townsend

 

 

 

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