Rubble and destruction in Germany were everywhere the fall of 1945, and George Lewis saw it up close. He was a corporal and squad leader with the 3458th Quartermaster Truck Company in charge of about 11 big trucks (part of a convoy) and was “in charge of teaching men how to drive them.” His mission was to help repair the infrastructure after all the destruction to Germany during WWII. He remembers an especially arduous 14-day, 140-mile trek from Bamberg to Munich. Most of the railroads had been destroyed and travel was extremely slow in the months after the war.
George Sellers Lewis had attended high school in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, but only made it through 11th grade. In 1944 when he was 18, he met Lee Ester Yates at church. They soon married and their first child, George Lee Lewis, was born on May 26, 1945. Unfortunately, the young father received his draft notice and was inducted into the Army on August 20, 1945. He was sent for basic training to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri and additional training in Cheyenne, Wyoming; then on to South Carolina where he and his company were shipped out to Germany aboard the U.S.S. Sea Devil. Ester and baby George stayed with her mother.
George spent the next several months in Germany with his convoy of trucks hauling gravel to repair roads. After a trip back across the Atlantic, he “rode a troop train all the way from New York to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio” where he was discharged. After only one year, his service was over. He returned to his family in Paris, Texas where he enrolled in a vocational school to be a tailor. George and Lee moved to Lubbock in 1950 where the family continued to grow and thrive. This writer was thoroughly impressed as George, after only a moment to reflect, was able to quickly name his 11 children in order of their birth: George Lee, James David, Mary, Ester, Beverly, Sherry, Winnie, Madeline, Curtis, Debbie and Pam.
George raised his large family, served in his church and worked hard for several companies throughout his career. Among them were Featherlite Block Company, T.G. & Y., the Social Security office, LISD and Family Promise. When his wife Ester died in 1987, he met Rose Higgins from Plainview at a church meeting. They married in 1988 and celebrated 26 anniversaries before Rosie passed away in 2014.
Now 90 years young, George still attends Agape Temple, and serves as a foster grandparent at the Lubbock State School. His supervisor John McCullough thought George would be a great candidate for the Texas South Plains Honor Flight. The WWII veteran was able to take that trip in 2016. George noted that he was proud to have served his country and was especially proud to go with his fellow veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials and museums built in their honor. His favorite stop was at the Tomb of the Unknown, and he helped lay a wreath at the Korean War Memorial. He said he “would definitely recommend any veteran to go on this trip if they are able.” George Sellers Lewis continues to be a man of service to his church, his community, his country and his fellow man.
Respectfully submitted by
Larry A. Williams
Veterans Liaison Co-chair
Texas South Plains Honor Flight