August 1, 1922 - July 4, 1944
William Robert Cain (August 1, 1922 - July 4, 1944) was a husband to Genevieve (Anderson) and the only son of Cleveland and Margaret Cain. He was the baby brother to three sisters, Lena Mae, Anna Phyllis (who died in 1932) and Lora Genevieve.
He was born in the town named after his ancestors called Cainsville, Missouri. He grew up, went to school and played baseball there until he decided to join the U.S. Army. He made the decision to join the Army after graduating high school earlier in the year of 1940 but he would not be turning eighteen until August so he waited and enlisted right after his 18th birthday.
The letter his parents received was dated August 27, 1940 asking them to fill out before a Notary Public, Postmaster or Justice of Peace an Age Verification and Consent Papers and sign BOTH PAPERS in PEN or INK. They were asked to kindly give this their immediate attention as this young man cannot be enlisted till the papers were returned.
Sgt. Robert Cain, (lovingly called Billy Bob by his family and Doc by the Army men), enlisted in August, 1940 and ranked as Sergeant in the medical corps. in charge of hospital on shipboard. His last duty was at Letterman Hospital, Presidio, California. In all he had been assigned to four different ships and made 34 trips over the ocean, the last one a supply ship called SS Jean Nicolet. Sgt. Cain was serving aboard the SS Jean Nicolet when it was attacked by the Japanese on July 2, 1944. The Jean Nicolet was sunk and Sgt. Cain was one of many men taken hostage. He was also one of many men who were tortured for two days before he was killed or died in the Indian Ocean.
From Debbie: I have heard family stories about him, one of which of course is how he died in WWII and that he received the Purple Heart of which I am very proud of. More stories where about how he loved his family. I personally, as his Great Niece, have the love of medicine and caring for others as he did. I am a nurse. This is why it means so much to me that he is remembered as well as the others who were on the Liberty Ship Jean Nicolet that fatal day!
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
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Special thanks to Christopher Lee, who does an outstanding job on 'Wednesday Hero'. I was asked last week where the quote (in red) came from. I sent Chris an e-mail and here is his reply: "It's taken from a quote by Gen. Patton in which he said "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." I changed it a little because I'd gotten a couple of complaints from people who'd lost loved ones and they weren't too thrilled with the foolish and wrong part."