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Roy William Billingsley

Submitted by: Deborah Billingsley Cavalcante {Grandniece}

Roy William BillingsleyRoy William Billingsley was born around 1901. Roy Billingsley served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1921.

Story of Service


My great-uncle, Roy William Billingsley, was born on 20 July 1901. He had lost his mother in January of 1913. Shortly after his mother's death, his father put him and his younger brother, James Stanley, in the Louisville Industrial School for Boys, to finish their education. He gave their youngest sister, Alice Rose, to a family in Oklahoma and then he skipped town, never to be heard from again.

Roy enlisted in the Army, at age 15, on 9 Apr 1917 (Regiment 30th Inf. Company “A”) and was stationed at Camp Merritt, NJ. According to his Roll of Honor entries he was in the Aisne defensive June 1918, the Chateau-Thierry July 1918, and the Champagne Marne defensive July 1918 when he was captured by the Germans 18 July 1918 and spent time in a prisoner of war camp, Camp Rastatt. He was released Dec 9, 1918. But in the interim, he was reported dead. In August 1918, the Courier Journal wrote that he had “given his life in battle against Hun.” Back home in Louisville, they held a memorial service for Roy.

When he was released from the POW camp, he returned to his company. When he returned home about a year later, his sister Pearl fainted when she saw him standing at the door. He was honorably discharged 23 Jul 1921.

Uncle Roy later enlisted in World War II 19 Sep 1942. He was honorably discharged 11 Mar 1943.

After World War II, he married but never had children of his own. But after the death of his niece, in 1960, he helped raise her 5 young children. I was one of those children and even though I was his grand-niece, he was a real grandfather to me.

We have 6 of his medals in our possession, one being a Silver Star and another a Purple Heart, both of which he received in World War 1.

He was a courageous, humble man and a real American hero.

Submitted by Deborah Billingsley Cavalcante, his great-niece. 

6070d6a1a6b7d Billingsley, Roy W 1918 far rt 1 GU

Roy Billingsley image

5c30e1d55a8be BILLINGSLEY, Roy W 1921 honor roll p1 GU

5c30e1d55b142 BILLINGSLEY, Roy W 1918 WW2 Medals GU

Billingsley, Roy W 1918 CJ death article