Veteran Memorial: Wayne Brock and Quinton Edgar “Bill” Cheatwood

Quinton Edgar “Bill” Cheatwood (Photo from

Quinton Edgar “Bill” Cheatwood

Quinton Edgar Cheatwood was born June 10, 1925 to parents Felton and Aurella Cheatwood in Cullman County. He was known to family and friends as “Bill.” At the age of 17, he married his sweetheart Jean Dixie King on November 7, 1942 and had a baby girl, Linda, soon after. 

He was drafted in 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army at Ft. McClellan on October 2, 1943. He trained as an anti-aircraft gunner but was transferred to infantry with Company L, 417th Infantry, 76th Infantry Division before deploying for France in 1944. 

Bill’s brother Wayne Cheatwood was serving in the Pacific with the Marines. His brother-in-law Robert L. Spears (Bob) also served in the Pacific and was a member of the Army National Guard. 

In a letter to his mother written February 4, 1945 from Luxembourg, he wrote:

“The letters I got from Wayne and Bob help me along. I wish you could read them. I am sure of one thing, if they never get back home, they are going to a better place than this ole world.” 

He would finish the letter with the words, “Pray for me.”

In an account of Bill Cheatwood’s life, Liz Sillers Spears writes:

“The following account is from official radio communication logs on file in the National Archives, Wash. D.C.  As part of Patton’s sweep across Europe, Bill’s company had just passed through Kenn, Germany enroute to Wittlich when an intelligence report indicated that the Germans were planning a counterassault on the town of Kenn the night of March 7th, 1945.  Bill’s company returned to Kenn with orders to hold the town at any cost.  Withering ‘Long Tom’ artillery fire by the Germans began to decimate the company and company commander Capt. Jack requested permission to withdraw, but the Division commander refused his request.  By the following morning, the assault had ended but Bill and many others had been killed.  One official source indicated Bill might not have died instantly.

     Bill’s older brother, Marine Corporal Wayne Cheatwood, was preparing for the assault on Okinawa at this time but would learn of Bill’s death a few weeks later during the battle.  Wayne was killed just hours before the end of the Okinawa campaign.”

Bill Cheatwood’s remains would later be returned home to his family for burial. He is now buried in the Missionary Grove Cemetery. 

Quinton Edgar “Bill” Cheatwood (Photo from

Wayne Brock Cheatwood

Wayne Brock Cheatwood was born August 26, 1920 to Felton and Aurella Cheatwood. He is the older brother of Quinton Edgar “Bill” Cheatwood. On August 23, 1941, Wayne married Lorene Dorothy Lovell. In 1943 he made the decision to join the Marines and became a member of Company I, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.

In a biography of Wayne’s life written by Liz Sillers Spears, she writes: 

“Joining the unit during the battle of New Britain, Wayne continued with the infantry unit through the bloody battle of Peleliu where he was wounded while crossing the Japanese air strip.  During this time, Lorene gave birth to Barney Wade ‘Butch’ Cheatwood, an event that everyone in Wayne’s company would hear about.  Wayne was proud of his son.  Following the battle, he trained with his unit on the island of Pavuvu.  Then, April 1st, 1945, he landed on the island of Okinawa.

   Now a seasoned rifleman, Wayne’s company was visited by famed journalist Ernie Pyle who had his picture taken for one of his columns.  Later, Wayne opened a letter to find that his brother Bill had been killed during fighting in Germany. Letters reflect the pain and grief Wayne bore.  Then on June 20th, shortly before dark, a few hours before the battle was declared over and with only one Japanese position remaining, Wayne stood to provide covering fire for his men who were pinned down by an enemy machine gun.  It was his last act of bravery.”

Wayne’s was awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star. His remains were returned home to his family in Cullman, and he is now buried alongside his brother, Bill, at Missionary Grove Cemetery. The brothers are also memorialized at Cullman’s Veterans Memorial Park. 

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