Gil with his first wife, Barbara Jean Anderson, in 1946.
Photo courtesy of Kelley Pye-Dancer.
Cecil Gilbert Pye, Jr.
|HOME OF RECORD:
(raised Beaumont, TX)
|NEXT OF KIN:
Mother, Mrs. Irene Grafton
|DATE OF BIRTH:
4/7/1942 – 4/25/1946
1951 – approx. 1971
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class (WWII)
Gunnery Sergeant (Retirement)
Biography coming soon.
Pvt. Pye Tells Terrible Tale Of Rollicking Rooster
By Sgt. Robert A. Hunter, Combat Correspondent
IN THE PACIFIC (Delayed) — Whenever Pvt. Cecil G. Pye takes out his feather, it is followed by a tale. It’s the story of the fighting cock who lost his voice with the Japanese on Iwo Jima and regained it with the Marines. Pye first saw the fowl the night it descried the Japs and joined his mortar platoon by hopping into the foxhole Pye shared with Pvt. James F. Davis of Springfield, Mo. “Beautiful bird,” said Davis. “All red and green with black tail feathers.” Pye, who lived on a Texas farm three years, commented professionally: “Nice spurs, but crippled in the leg and wing, and he couldn’t crow. He hasn’t had chow for a long time.” Soon, as shells dropped around them, the Jap cock was sharing the buddies’ C and K rations—gobbling crumbled crackers that the Marines softened in water. They dusted the fowl’s wounds with sulphanilamide.
Day after day, the gamecock grew fatter. Early one morning, when the Marines were crouching just before moving out to the attack, the mascot unleashed a mighty call to arms.
FATTENED ON RATIONS
After that, dawn on Iwo began to sound like home on the range to Pye. At first the fowl “wouldn’t move for shells.” One night, the Jap barrage was so intense that the proud cock left his post, 10 feet behind his masters’ foxhole, and quietly slipped in beside Davis and Pye. Four days later, the mascot moved too slowly. “I still have his feather,” says Pye, displaying it. And that is the end of his tale.