J. B. (Phill) Parmer

J. B. (Phill) Parmer, 101, of Canyon, TX died of natural causes on December 30, 2020.
 
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, January 2, 2021, at Memorial Park Cemetery. Military Rites will be provided by Volleys for Veterans. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
 
J. B. (Phill) Parmer was born on April 6, 1919, in rural Bell County, Texas, the son of Cicero Guess Parmer, a cotton sharecropper, and Ida Mae Ray.
 
He was a World War II veteran, serving in both the Army and Navy, in the Philippines, the North Atlantic, and in Italy. He received the Bronze Star medal for heroic service in a combat zone. He married Lorna Shannon Black in 1945 in Amarillo after writing to her throughout the war. He worked for Colorado Interstate Gas Company at Bivins, Texas for 35 years. He was an elder in the Church of Christ. He retired in 1983 to Sunrise Beach on Lake LBJ. In retirement he did the following: earned his EMT certificate and helped start the EMS service at Sunrise Beach; earned a paralegal certificate and became a member of the Silver-Haired Legislature of Texas, an advocacy group for seniors; worked as a senior care ombudsman, serving in the greater Austin area; studied and built several computers. He received The Greatest Generation award for his military service and volunteerism. He was a long-time member of Highland Lakes Church of Christ in Kingsland.
 
He is survived by his wife, Lorna of Canyon, TX; his son, Phill and wife Mevanee of Amarillo, TX; three grandchildren, Penelope Westwater of the St. Louis area, Shannon Butler of Philadelphia, and Cory Parmer of Davis, CA; and five great-grandchildren.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Norman Duane; and his eight older siblings, Maybell, Doyle, Ivan, Ray, Vivian, Wilson, Ruthann, and Lawrence (Jick).
 
Memorials may be made to the Christian Relief Fund of Amarillo, Texas.

2 Replies to “J. B. (Phill) Parmer”

  1. Sgt J.B. Parmer was in Company A, 473rd Infantry Regiment in Italy, during WWII.
    His unit went through some of the thougest fighting of the war breaching the German held Gothic Line in Tuscany and Liguria.
    On april 13th, 1945, his Battalion, started the bloody uphill attack against Hill 366 with “B” Company on the left, “A” Company on the right and “C” Company in reserve. It was planned to commit “C” Company in the attack later that day, and the morning was spent patrolling and planning. “A” and “B” met considerable opposition and were slowed to a crawl. “C” Company was committed at noon… Opposition half way up the first hill consisted of rifle, machine gun and rifle grenade fire. Potato-masher grenades and a mortar barrage were thrown in by the enemy for good measure. All of this was despite the artillery preparation made for the 1st Battalion’s attack. Sniping from trenches and dugouts seriously wounded several men and killed or wounded the aid men who went to help him. The machine gun positions were taken after a number of enemy were killed or taken prisoner.
    Three houses on a road parallel to the base of the hill were taken after a 20-minute firefight. Then the men were held up by machine gun and rifle fire after they had advanced within 300 yards of the church at S. Lucia. There they were was stopped by barbed wire and machine gun fire. Bangalore torpedoes were not available and they had to fall back to the company’s defense line on the road crossed earlier that afternoon.
    A mortar barrage on this defensive setup killed almost every S-Sgt in “C” Company. Leaderless platoons were combined when, with all the officers killed or wounded, the company commander, 1st Lt. Clarence E. Doughty was the only officer left.
    On the 14th the
    attack continued but gained no important headway. Sgt. Foster C. Eaton assumed command of 2nd Platoon when T-Sgt. Pustka was wounded.

    On the morning of the 14th five enemy machine guns were delaying the advance of both battalions near Fontia. With “A” in support what was left of “B” Company worked up hill 427 at about 11 AM and got within a short distance of the guns when Jerry opened up and pinned them down. 1st Lt. Thomas A. O’Boyle, Company Commander, succeeded in getting his troops out of their exposed positions and regrouped for a second assault.
    After two hours of perilous movement he had managed to get within 20 yards of the machine guns to direct a mortar barrage. Then, as so frequently happens in combat, things didn’t go according to the book — smoke rounds from the barrage fell in the midst of “F” Company on the flank. Casualties from the short rounds were heavy and threatened to completely disorganize the
    attack. Lt. O’Boyle visited his squads, encouraged and directed the continuance of the attack and directed the care and evacuation of the wounded.
    The attack on these positions had begun at 11 AM and it was a bitter, bloody’ and discouraging day cleaning out the machine guns but at 5 PM the job was done. Fontia was clear of enemy. A few hours later this advance coupled with other advances by the 2nd Battalion and assisted by the 1st Battalion’s pressure on S. Lucia forced the enemy in the 2nd Battalion’s sector to withdraw through Ortonovo to Casano and the hill behind it.
    Before dawn on the 15th “A” Company was committed again and launched an attack on Hill 366, passed to the left of the troublesome barbed wire, and had a terrific fire-fight for the church on the crest of the hill at S. Lucia. German survivors fell back to dugouts and trenches on a knoll 100 yards away. Lt. Col. Phelan, 1st Battalion Commander who had spent his three days as CO in the most forward positions, moved to the church and directed the battle from there.
    About noon, one squad was given the mission of rushing the enemy position. They ran through the heavy fire and practically onto the Germans. They forced one captured German to tell his comrades to surrender by marching him along at gunpoint to each trench and dugout netting 52 prisoners in this skirmish while losing only two wounded. Before the position was completely consolidated the enemy threw in a heavy mortar and artillery barrage.
    One of these rounds landed in the church doorway and killed Lt. Col. Phelan, several “A” and “C” Company men and some PW’s. Despite the losses, S. Lucia, a key observation point in the Green Line II was taken.

    The men who fought on Hill 366, are now dead or in their 100s, wrinkled and often moving with the help of a cane or wheelchair. Their hands often tremble and their voices shake as they labor to speak. But nearly 80 years ago they were young men, many in their teens, fighting in a war to free a land that wasn’t theirs, several thousands miles from home.
    They may have been scared but they were also determined to do their jobs and perhaps more importantly not let down the man, the buddy, the friend fighting beside them.
    Commemorate their Sacrifice, let everyone know their feats…

    Thank you!
    The people living in the villages these men have liberated.

  2. our dear friend. we have a pic of him and freind sitting with my husband at church in kingsland. he was a dear for sure. blessing to all the family, hugs to lorna. we love the Parmer family. harold and sarah hancock, burnet texas

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