WWII vet recalls one memorable Christmas Eve - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

WWII vet recalls one memorable Christmas Eve

Roscoe Cox Source: WLBT Roscoe Cox Source: WLBT
CARROLL COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It was 71 years ago today that troops heading for the front lines in France were detoured by a German U-boat in the English Channel.

Roscoe Cox was one of those men. He lives in Carroll County with his wife, a retired schoolteacher in the home in which they have celebrated many Christmases together. 

But Christmas Eve of 1944 was the most memorable for Mr. Cox.

He was an 18-year-old infantryman being ferried across the English Channel to re-enforce the troops engaged in the Battle of the Bulge. He was on the T.S. S. Leopoldville.

Mr. Cox tells us, “It was a Belgian ship just being used to transport soldiers across the Channel.”

They were about five miles from land when German submarine U-486 got 'The Leopoldville' in its sights and hit it squarely with a torpedo.

Of the 2000 soldiers on board, over 800 were lost. Mr. Cox managed to scramble to the deck.

As he puts it, “And (I) happened to be there standing at the right time, I rekon. They called for 15 men to let us down in a lifeboat.”

That was 71 years ago. And only recently has Mr. Cox been able to talk about it. 

During our conversation we had to bounce away from the subject from time to time. But that Christmas Eve on the Leopoldville often crosses Roscoe Cox’s mind.

He says, “Too much. Seems like the older I get the more I think about it.”

The war changed Mr. Cox and everybody else in it.

Mr. Cox says, “It changes all of us. I mean, the war don’t do nothing but bad for anybody that’s ever been in it."

And the war changed life for us, too in that the Allies won, and we are who we are today because of that.

And for folks like Mr. Cox who had difficult times during it and after it we say thank you for making a difference for us, especially as we celebrate Christmas this Christmas Eve. 

Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly