During his roughly two years of service in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer during World War II, Clarence Stinnette saw a lot of war.
After being inducted into service in Baltimore, Maryland, on Aug. 25, 1943, according to his discharge papers, Stinnette fought in the Normandy invasion, southern and northern France and the Battle of the Bulge. He saw action in six major battles.
“From the pictures he sent back from the war zone, it looked like he was in more combat than engineering,” Clarence Stinnette’s brother, Owen Stinnette, said. Clarence Stinnette died in 1994 at the age of 77.
As Clarence Stinnette’s birthday grew closer this year, Owen Stinnette — the last living brother of seven — searched for a way to honor his brother’s memory and military service. It didn’t take him long to find his answer.
With some help from his family and Sen. Mark Warner’s office, the 94-year-old Lynchburg resident shipped the American flag of his late brother to be flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on July 4, which happens to be Clarence Stinnette’s birthday.
The entire process, Owen Stinnette said, wasn’t difficult at all. He added he is considering doing something similar for his other brother, Elmer Stinnette, for his birthday Nov. 2. Elmer Stinnette was the only other brother besides Owen and Clarence to serve in the military.