HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 95
(By Delegates J. Nelson, Stowers, Phillips, R., Eldridge, Andes, Armstead, Azinger, Cadle, Campbell, Caputo, Cooper, Cowles, Espinosa, A. Evans, D. Evans, Faircloth, Fleischauer, Folk, Frich, Hamilton, Hamrick, Hartman, Householder, Howell, Ireland, Lynch, Manchin, Marcum, Miller, O'Neal, Pasdon, Paxton, Raines, Romine, Rowan, Shott, Skaff, R. Smith, Sobonya, Storch, Tomblin and Westfall)
Requesting that bridge number 22-119-0.04 on U.S. Route 119, currently known as the North Pinnacle Rock Bridge, near the Boone County/Lincoln County line, be named the “Army PFC Willie P. ‘Jenkie’ Wilson Memorial Bridge”.
Whereas, Willie Paul ‘Jenkie’ Wilson was born November 11, 1925, the son of John and Elsie Wilson; and
Whereas, Willie P. ‘Jenkie’ Wilson was raised and educated in Boone County, West Virginia, and entered the United States Army following school, to answer his country’s call during the time of World War II; and
Whereas, Army PFC Willie P. ‘Jenkie’ Wilson, serial number 45070215, was assigned to 1st Platoon, Company K, 262nd Regiment, 66th Infantry Division; and
Whereas, Following training, PFC Wilson was sent to England with his unit to prepare to reinforce troops fighting on the European continent; and
Whereas, In the early hours of December 24, 1944, PFC Wilson was one of 2,235 men of the U.S. Army’s 66th Infantry Division, the Black Panther division, who began boarding the Belgian troopship Leopold at Pier 38 in Southhampton, England, bound for Cherbourg, France, where the unit was to have been sent to assist with resistance to a German counter offensive at the battle of the Bulge; and
Whereas, At 6 p.m. that evening, Christmas Eve, 1944, German Submarine No. U-486 launched a torpedo which struck and sank the Leopold; and
Whereas, In the confusion, attempts at rescue by other ships in the area were inadequate, and PFC Wilson was among the 802 persons aboard the Leopold who drowned or died from injuries or hypothermia in the 48 degree waters of the English Channel that night, just five miles off the coast of Cherbourg; and
Whereas, It is the desire of the Legislature and the people of West Virginia that an enduring memorial to the sacrifice of PFC Wilson be established; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That bridge number 22-119-0.04 on U.S. Route 119, currently known as the North Pinnacle Rock Bridge, near the Boone County/Lincoln County line, be named the “Army PFC Willie P. ‘Jenkie’ Wilson Memorial Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Commissioner of the Division of Highways is hereby requested to erect signs at both ends of the bridge containing bold and prominent letters proclaiming the bridge the “Army PFC Willie P. ‘Jenkie’ Wilson Memorial Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates forward a certified copy of this resolution to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways and to Tanya Buckner, 38 Harmony Lane, Foster, WV 25081.