Keith Selvey

1919 - 2020
Keith Selvey

Keith Selvey, 101, passed away in Texas.

My Story: By Keith Selvey

I was born at home in Barton county Missouri in 1919, the fourth of eleven children. I was raised on the farm. After graduating from high school in Lamar, Missouri, where I was captain of the football team and ran track, I worked 3 years for an engineering company putting in electrical lines for the R.E.A. On June 23, 1941, I was drafted into the United States Army.

From Lamar, I was sent to Leavenworth, Kansas, for a couple of days, then on to Camp Roberts, California for basic training. From there I was sent to the St. Louis Obispo, California, where I was when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and started World War II. We were on duty on outposts around Santa Monica, California. In January 1943 we went to Fort Lewis, Washington. We had really hard training in the fall. From there we were sent to the Hawaiian Islands where we fortified Oahu, then went to Kauai for intensive training including Ranger training. I was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

In 1944 we were sent to New Britain where we took the airport. The Japanese left a number of mines around the airport and we lost three men from my platoon there. We relived the First Marines on Guadalcanal then made a practice landing on New Guinea. On January 9, 1945, we made a landing on Luzon. This hard mission cost the lives of more men from my platoon. After a couple of months, we were sent to Panay then on to Negros where we encountered heavy fighting and lost several men. After leaving Hawaii with 36 men we had only 10 after Negros. I was promoted to Second Lieutenant with a field commission. After the surrender of Japan, I was sent to Korea. After a couple of months, I received orders to return home.

Upon returning home I returned to my job at the engineering company and married Margaret Neas and after a year we bought a farm. We had one child, Ann.

I served the reserves for four years then I joined the National Guard. Within 2 years, I was he Commanding Officer of Company ”C” 135 Tank Battalion in Lamar, Missouri. Then I was transferred to Nevada, Missouri where I was CO for 3 years then I was S-2 until I served my 20 years of Service. I retired as a major.

The whole time I was in the National Guard, I farmed and raised registered poll Herefords. My wife died in 1993. In 2013 I sold my farm equipment and in 2014 I sold my farm. In 2015 I sold my house in Lamar. I now live with my daughter and son-in-law here in Kerrville to be close to my grand daughter and grandson and his wife and their children who reside in Austin.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday May 5, 2020 at 2 PM at Lake Cemetery. To plant a tree in memory of Keith Selvey, please visit Tribute Store.