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James Carroll James Carroll

Reconnaissance rider during WWII who personally liberated a town in Belgium.

Private James Carroll of Brewton, Alabama, was assigned as a reconnaissance rider in World War II, and on one occasion found himself in the town of Peruwelz, Belgium, cut off from his own troops by a battalion of retreating Germans. Carroll hid until the Germans passed through, except for one who stopped to shoot at women and chidren. Carroll came out of hiding and killed the German. A party broke out, and Carroll was celebrated as the personal liberator of the town. Photographs were taken of his WLA covered in flowers; and survivors who were young children at the time, claim he gave them rides on his Harley-Davidson. Ironically, a legend grew up in the town that Carroll had been killed shortly thereafter. Each year a Mass was said for their beloved liberator until 1995, when the townspeople of Peruwelz decided to locate and decorate Carroll's grave. At that time, they discovered he was still alive and iinvited him back to Belgium as their guest of honor for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Europe. Carroll is still alive, living in Brewton, Alabama.