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James T. Ailor


James Thurman Ailor (Nov. 22, 1917 – April 21, 1945) was from Polk County, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee’s College of Law in 1940. He enlisted with the United States Army and was trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant and deployed to the Pacific Theater with the 307th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Infantry Division. He participated in the Battle of Leyte and was wounded during the battle for Guam. He was killed in action during the assault on Ie Shima during the invasion of Okinawa on April 21, 1945, three days after the journalist Ernie Pyle, who was with Ailor’s regiment during the fight, was killed by a Japanese sniper. He is memorialized at the Honolulu Cemetery and Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii and Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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  • Rank: 1st Lieutenant
  • Branch: Army
  • UT Major/Affiliation: College of Law, 1940
  • Hometown: Polk County, Tennessee