Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

Mr. Allie Sylvester Cottrell


Mr. Allie Sylvester Cottrell

June 16, 1908

March 31, 2004

Mr. Allie S. Cottrell was born on June 16, 1908 to  the late Mr. & Mrs. Henry Cottrell. He confessed Christ at an early age and joined the Crossroad Baptist Church of Verbena, AI. He was united in Matrimony to the late Ms. Ada C. Gill, during this union one son preceded him in death.

He departed this life on Wednesday, March 31, 2004.

Those left to cherish the precious memories of him are: One Sister, Ms. Annie Gill of Clanton, AL. One Grandson: Charles Cottrell of Clanton, AL. One Granddaughter: Miriam (Danny) Hugley of Clanton, AL. Five Great-grandchildren: Kimberly, Dariel, Demirial,  James, and Lil Charles. Three Sister-in-Laws: Mrs. Ada Speigner of Anniston, AL, Ms. Eddie Mae Harris of Alabaster, AL., & Mrs. Sarah Holyfield of Prattville, AL. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. A devoted friend and Caregiver, Mrs. Delila Harris of Birmingham AL. Army Comrades members of the "2,221" Negro Volunteers of WWII. The American Legion Post 343 of Clanton, AL, and The VFW 3193 of Clanton, AL.

Mr. Cottrell was keenly sensitive about African Americans contributions to the defense of our country. Later, Mr. Cottrell joined the U. S. Army and along with '2,220' other African Americans made history by being the "First" to integrate the United States Armed Forces. He served his country with courage and valor as an MM Rifleman during WWII.  For his unparallel service to his country, Mr. Cottrell was recognized to receive the following medals. 1.) Defense Medal  2.) American Medal  3.) Conduct Medal Ap 600-68  4.) WWII Victory Medal  5.) European African Middle Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars, but like so many other African American Veterans; the medals were never received. Mr. Cottrell was Honorably Discharged on November 1945.

In 1946 Allie Cottrell, like many Veterans of WWII, returned to the farm after service in the Armed Forces. But unlike many other Veterans who returned to well equipped farms, Cottrell's biggest job was ahead of him. For the land he purchased had to be cleared, terraced, equipped, and brought into a productive state before he could provide a living for his family. In 1948 he enrolled in the Veteran on the Farm training class. There he learned of some of the better farming methods. By 1950 the complete picture had changed, what had once been a forest was now open farm land with terraces constructed and a fairly good pasture was underway.

1951 brought about several changes on Mr. Cottrell's Farm. When asked about future plans he said "Things are Changing, If I am to be a Success as a farmer, I know I must change also." This year was evidence of that fact. Things are definitely changing on this farm.

June 14, 2003, Mr. Cottrell was given the key to the city of Clanton. He wanted to know if the key would fit the doors at the bank. He was also recognized as being the Oldest Living African American Veteran in Chilton, County.

June 16, will forever be known as Mr. Allie Cottrell's Day in Chilton, County.

November 11, 2003 Mr. Cottrell was awarded the WWII Combat Infantry Badge, as well as several other Distinguished awards.


Another Soldier Gone to Get a Great Reward
 He Fought the Fight and Kept" the Faith,
and Now Gone Home To God;
 He fought until he fell upon the battlefield
and there he heard the general say,

"My Son Lay Down Your Sword and Shield and Rest"

Category: WWII | Subcategory: Resting Places | Tags: WWII
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1908, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1951, 2003, 2004, African American, Army, Birmingham, DC, GE, Henry, Medals, Old, Ward, World War II,