Dozens Remember Wartime Training Accident
by Jason Lamb
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – On Sunday, dozens of residents in Wilson County took time to remember a devastating war-training accident that took place there 70 years ago.
In 1944, near the end of World War II, 21 soldiers training in Wilson County died while trying to cross the Cumberland River.
James Ralph Kirk was one of those soldiers. His sister Oleta McCullar, who lives more than 100 miles from the area, had never seen the site of the accident until Saturday, when organizers put together a ceremony to honor the men who died in the training accident.
"I had often wondered about this place, but I didn't have any idea exactly where it was or anything," said Oleta. "I'm glad I know now."
Over four years during World War II, thousands of soldiers undertook war training in Middle Tennessee, before getting sent overseas.