Group Rallying To Raise Funds To Bring Remains Of American WWII Veteran Home

US Cavalry troops in the Philippines 1944.
US Cavalry troops in the Philippines 1944.

American Legion Post 516 is named after Willie B. Hatcher, a World War II veteran who left a pregnant wife at home to fight in the war. He was killed in the Philippines on November 1, 1944.

Hatcher’s grandson, Patrick Hardy Senior, came to the American Legion post to request their help. He has never been able to visit his grandfather’s grave, and no one from his family or his home country has been overseas to pay their respects because the grave is in Manila.

Henry County Commissioner Blake Prince, an Air Force veteran, said that “it breaks my heart that a veteran soldier over there was never given a proper thank you for what he has done.”

So, Prince, Hardy and American Legion 516 have combined forces to bring Hatcher home.

“Mr. Hatcher was the first Henry County citizen to fall during World War II. We need to honor him by giving back that sacrifice,” Prince said.

Prince has joined with veterans to host charity motorcycle rides to raise money to repatriate Hatcher’s remains, WSB-TV reported.

Douglas Cloud said that they want to bring Hatcher back so they can honor him like they have by naming the American Legion post after him. He said they “have the opportunity to bring his remains back so his family and those of us can appreciate the fact that he served, died, and now his remains will be close to home.”

Hardy said, “My father started it all, and this is what he really wanted.”

So far the group has raised $2,500. To bring Hatcher home requires $10,000.

If you wish to help, you can contact the Willie B. Hatcher American Legion Post 516 at 678-782-5466 or or visit

Checks can be written to the American Legion Post 516, earmarked for the Willie B. Hatcher fund. The post is located at 122 Legion Road, McDonough, GA 30253.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE