Criswell, Buster (P2, C2, L8)
Private Buster Criswell, 23, of Cedar Hill, Owen County, Kentucky was killed while serving on federal active duty with his unit on 4 June 1945. According to notes quoting the book “Dog Battery, Its Hiden History” by Dwight Tipton it is believed that he died in an accident near Mallersdorf, Germany. The German forces had officially surrendered on May 7th. . One newspaper account refers to him as Ralph “Buster” Criswell Jr but all the other information found about him only lists his name as Buster to include his military documents. Criswell attended Cedar Hill School in Owen County. Cedar Hill is a small community between Monterey and Owenton in Owen County. Criswell joined the Kentucky National Guard’s Troop A, 123rd Cavalry at Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, on 15 October 1940. He listed his occupation as farmer. His unit was re-designated, Battery A, 103rd Coast Artillery Battalion (Anti Aircraft) in 1940. He entered federal service with his unit on 24 February 1941.
Criswell is buried in Plot E Row 8 Grave 15 in the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.
Cedar Hill Boy Dead
News Herald June 28, 1945
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Criswell, Cedar Hill, received word Thursday that a son, Pvt. Ralph Jr. "Buster," 23, died June 4 in Germany. The War Department message, which came through the Red Cross, didn't contain any details. Buster had written them in April that he suffered a wound in his right hand and had been in a French hospital about a month. their last letter from him was received Saturday wee, and he was OK when he sent the message. Overseas more than three years, he had fought in seven major campaigns in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was also stationed in Ireland with his famous anti-aircraft unit. Surviving besides his parents are five sisters, Mesdames Porter Yance and Bill Fitzgerald and Misses Pear, Lou Ann and Patsy, and a brother, Don all of Cedar Hill.
Photo and additional information provided by Jennifer Nippert