Lowcountry WW II veteran James Haynes passes away

posted by Ann McGill, Anchor - 

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A 94-year old World War II veteran from the Lowcountry will be laid to rest tomorrow.

James "Jimmy" Haynes, Sr. died Sunday at home in Goose Creek from an illness. He was born in the St. Paul area of Dorchester County and grew up on Middleton Gardens in West Ashley. 

Relatives recently shared stories of his life and call him their hero.

"Non-confrontational, intelligent, smart," Albert Haynes said.

That's how Albert Haynes describes his big brother James, also known as Uncle Jimmy and Daddy's Boy. James E. Haynes, Sr. is the third of 12 children.

Haynes was known as the peacemaker in the family.

"You and I could be in an argument and he could settle it without offending either of us and he'd have both of us laughing after it's all over you know what I mean, that's the kind of man he was," Albert Haynes said. 

Haynes was a proud World War II veteran.

At the age of 20, in 1943, he joined the army. And in an interview with the National WW II Museum in New Orleans in 2016, he talked about being drafted.

"I went to Fort Belvoir Virginia, that's where I took my basic training in Fort Belvoir Virginia and I was in Camp Jackson that was the re-enlisted place then. I leave there and went to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. I was trained in the combat engineer building bridges and things," James E. Haynes, Sr. said.

But thanks to a bizarre twist, he didn't serve with his combat engineer unit.

Instead, he served with the quartermaster corps, under General Patton's 3rd army.

He did tours in France and the Philippines.

"They chose him to guard the senior officers of the German army. He was guarding generals, colonels, and stuff like that," Albert Haynes said.

Haynes started a tradition of military service in his family.

And although he served in the army, his younger brother Albert and dozens of nieces and nephews, answered the call of duty, by taking flight in the US Air Force.

"He's my hero. I followed after him, after I got larger I joined the military."

After four years in the army, he returned home to Charleston, went back to school and made a career at the Naval Shipyard as a foreman, then retired.

"He was a good example for everyone you know, he was our hero, he was everyone's hero."

James E. Haynes, Sr. was 94 years old.

Family members are greeting loved ones and friends at a viewing right now at Greater Refuge Temple downtown Charleston on Huger Street. They will be there until 8 p.m. The funeral is Saturday at 11 a.m. at the same church.

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