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Edgar C. Wilson Oral History

Identifier: MS-3226

  • Staff Only

Edgar Wilson begins this manuscript with a discussion of his service in the United States Army during World War II. He reflects on his time working at an American POW camp, saying that the German POW's were very respectful and hard working. He includes a few anecdotes about his time in the war, but there are few descriptions of battle.

The majority of this interview focuses on Edgar Wilson's life after the war. As a civilian, Wilson became very involved with agricultural education. He worked for a veterans' program that taught farm training at high schools around Knoxville. Later, he worked as a plant manager at a fertilizer plant and eventually became a field representative for the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative. Wilson also describes the veterans' organizations that he has participated in, including an informal gathering of former artillerymen on Knoxville's Gay Street. Wilson is grateful to World War II for teaching him many of the lessons that have had a positive impact on his life.


  • 2005 September 4

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In this interview, Edgar C. Wilson discusses the end of his service in World War II and his postwar life in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Biographical/Historical Note

Edgar Clinton Wilson was born in Knox County, Tennessee on October 29, 1914. He earned a teaching certificate from Milligan College in 1935 and a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee on June 3, 1940. Wilson began his career as a teacher and taught English to 5th through 8th grade students from 1935 to 1939 and from 1940 to 1941. He was drafted into the Army on June 7, 1941 and completed basic training and Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma before being stationed at Camp Robertson, California. He was assigned to the 80th Division in 1943 and trained with that unit until March of 1944, when they were moved to Fort Dix and dispatched to England on the Queen Mary.

The 80th Division was moved to France within a week of its arrival in England. Wilson was assigned to the 2nd battalion of the 319th Infantry (nicknamed the Wreckin' Second), which fought in in Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and central Europe. He was released from service in late 1945 and returned to Tennessee. Here, he took several extension courses at the University of Tennessee and went on to work on the Board of the Farm Bureau and on the Board of the Knox County Farmers' Cooperative. He married Beatrice Jerry Jarrell (1912-1991), an anesthesia nurse from Morristown, on September 2, 1948. Although Wilson is now retired, he is still active in organizing reunions of the 80th Division.


Collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

This collection is property of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Special Collections Library.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA