Charles William "Bill" Young

C Company

My name is Joseph Hogan, my Grandfather was Charles William "Bill" Young of C Company.  He was a Toccoa man assigned to the company HQ section. He was jump injured in Operation Dragoon and rejoined the 517th in October of '44. He was present with the elements of C Co. who fought in the "Freyneux affair" during the Bulge. Upon their escape from German held territory, he and several other troopers became separated from the company and were listed as MIA for a period. As it turns out, they were linked up with some tankers and pulled patrols for them until they could rejoin the 517th. He was evacuated for frozen feet and/or jaundice in early January and never returned.

I have recently come into possession of the scrapbook my grandmother kept during those years. I am slowly beginning to catalog the items in it and thought I would share the photos it contains. I am sorry but I know very little about most of them. I hope that by sharing them with you I may bring some happiness to veterans of the 517th or their loved ones. I also hope that someone out there may be able to help me put names to the faces and shed some light onto the nature of some of the photos.

Joseph P. Hogan 


002 C.W. Young. While I do not know for certain, I assume it was taken during basic training in Camp Toccoa.
007 C.W. Young, and I believe his parents. I think this is Aug. 1943
008 C.W. Young, possibly Aug. 1943
014 C.W. Young, possibly Aug. 1943
015 C.W. Young, possibly Aug. 1943
018 C.W. Young, possibly Aug. 1943


I love this series of photos although I don't know much about it. No matter what the story behind them, they reflect my Grandfather as I like to remember him.

It appears (judging from photos shared by others) that this is at Camp Toccoa. My mother once gave me a brief explanation, but I do not know where she got it. According to her, some of the men in the company were posing for photos send home to their families or girls. They clearly wanted to look the part of a soldier but my grandfather (in the towel) and a few other troopers had other ideas. If anyone out there knows any of the men in the photos or can share any background, I'd love to hear from you!


021 & 022. The explanation for 021 can be found on the back of the photo (022). It is hard to make out but I think it reads, "This was my 15th jump. Some landing. The case in front of me has my rifle in it. I pulled my reserve to climb down..."
016. C.W. Young is on the right (but I think the image is somehow reversed, judging from the uniform insignia?). I do not know who the trooper on the left is, nor do I know when this was taken. I do suspect that it was taken before shipping for Italy because my grandmother kept one of Gramp by himself, with the same background by her bedside while he was overseas.
019. The back of this photo reads "This was taken in Raleigh in front of the Capitol."
017. I do not know the trooper in this photo or the woman. There is nothing written by the photo. I hope someone recognizes them.
- 023. C.W. Young. The back of the photo reads, "June 1944, Somewhere in Italy"
- 024. The back of this photo also reads "June 1944, Somewhere in Italy". The word "Buddies"is written at the bottom. C.W. Young is on the left where it says "Me". I do not know the other two troopers, but it looks like "Frank" and maybe "Eugene" have been written on them. Again, please let me know if anyone can shed light on this photo.

- 020. C.W. Young. A faded inscription on the back looks like is says "Oct. 28, 1944. Italy" but this is unlikely. He was evacuated to a hospital in Italy due to a fractured rt. ankle several days after Dragoon but records indicate that he returned to the 517th in early October. His personal stories also indicate that he was present during the final weeks of action in the Maritime Alps.

- 025, 026, & 027. These seem to be of my grandfather and a good friend, but I do not know his name. They also appear to have been taken on at least two separate occasions. Again, I'd love to know who is with my gramps in these photos and where/when they were taken.

Received from Joseph P. Hogan
Grandson of  of  C.W. Young

, 2011

Charles William "Bill" Young of Glens Falls, NY.

- Bill Young enlisted in Feb. 1943 and was one of the original members of C Co.
- He went AWOL in April 1944 in order to marry my Grandmother, Doris Bates but made it back in time to take his lumps and ship out for Italy. As you well know, he saw his first action on June 18, 1944 near Grosetto, Italy. I believe he was a Cpl. at the time and serving as a radio operator and runner for the 1st Sgt.
- He made the jump into Southern France on August 15, 1944 and sustained a broken ankle. He continued to fight and was evacuated three days later.
- I am unclear on how long he was hospitalized because records regarding his return to the 517 are conflicting. They show anywhere between Oct. 3 and Nov. 11. I tend to believe it was some time in October because he had spoken of action in the French Alps. What is clear is that his rank upon returning was now Pfc. I understand that this was voluntary, in order to avoid being used as a replacement.
- He entered action in the Battle of the Bulge with C Co. and was with them when they became separated and and surrounded by the SS.
-He was listed as MIA on December 27, 1944 and did not return to duty until January 11, 1945. During this time I understand that he and several other members of C Co. were linked up with armor and patrolling/providing security for them.
-He apparently remained with what was left of C Co. and participated in the action in central Europe.
-He was hospitalized for jaundice in the spring of 1945.
-He was discharged shortly after VJ Day. 

Bill Young returned to Glens Falls and tried to put the war behind him. He and my grandmother raised four children, whom have all raised families of their own. He worked as a union printer until an injury placed him on disability in the late 80s. He was a renowned athlete, and notable welterweight boxer. He was a consummate outdoorsman and spent many, many days trekking across his beloved Adirondack Mountains. He was also a fantastic mentor to young people, teaching them how to hunt, fish, handle a canoe, you name it. He lost his wife to cancer in 1999 and lived alone for the past nine years.

I honestly do not know if he was ever able to truly put the war behind him until today. I do know that the events of the Bulge scarred him deeply and he struggled to speak of them his whole life. There is a story in the family that when he was MIA, alone and scared in the Ardennes, he and my Grandmother shared the same dream (vision?). Apparently my Grandmother could see him there, curled up in the snow. She went to him and held him in her arms. When he returned home he related that he had seen and felt here there with him and could hear her telling him to come home. I find it fitting that he is reunited with her at this time of year.

            -- Grand daughter of Charles Young -- December 31, 2008