Oldest WWII Buffalo Soldier dead at 100

One of Weakley County’s most distinguished and respected citizens is dead at the age of 100.

Sharon resident Ezra Howard, who was the oldest surviving member of the famous World War II black combat unit known as the “Buffalo Soldiers,” died on Thursday, February 1, at Martin Health Care Center.

Mr. Howard entered the Army when he was 18 years old and served from 1941 to 1945. Private First Class Howard was as a member of the 364th infantry regiment of the 92nd Infantry Division (also known as the “Buffalo Division”), which was the only African-American division to see combat in WWII.

 

During his tour of duty, he fought in the Italian campaign. PFC Howard qualified as sharpshooter with his M-1 rifle and was awarded several medals while serving his country.

 

Concerning Mr. Ward’s character, Ward said his grandfather was “an awesome man of God, who served as a deacon in his church for over 20 years. He was just a wonderful man. He was a pillar of the community. Everybody loved him.”

 

Funeral services were held Sunday, February 4, at Pleasant View Church in Sharon with Anthony Bell officiating, and internment followed immediately afterward at Highland Cemetery in Sharon.

 

Over 30 members of patriotic organizations participated in the ceremony in recognition of Mr. Howard’s service to his country. They included: The Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder-TN 6, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Club, and the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club from Clarksville. These groups served as honor guards and escorts from the church to the cemetery. They also provided a Flag Line at the cemetery, in honor of the local WWII hero.

 

(See compete story in Feb. 7th issue of the Dresden Enterprise.)

 

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