- "At first my now knowing him didn't stop me from thinking bad things about him. The truth was that he was the kind of brave soldier and brave man that I don't think I can ever be, and that bothers me. I wonder if his soul was just bigger than mine or if somehow I am incomplete."
- —Scott Collins
Sergeant Scott Pendleton Collins (August 14, 1926 – March 19, 1992) was an American soldier in the 116th Infantry Regiment during World War II. He participated in the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy in 1944. His best friend was Bobby Joe Hunter, who fought alongside Scott during the war.
Scott Collins was born on August 14, 1926 to James and Mrs. Collins. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia with his younger brother and sister, Danny and Ellen. Scott's great-grandfather fought in the Civil War and his father in World War I. He was a Boy Scout during his childhood.
World War II
At the age seventeen, Scott enlisted in the United States Army and joined the 116th Infantry Regiment. After training in Virginia at Camp A.P. Hill, Scott was shipped out to England. On June 6, 1944, Scott landed on Omaha Beach in France during the Battle of Normandy.
Scott's friend, Bobby Joe Hunter found him a few days later. They and their platoon began heading toward St. Lô, but were forced back to St. Andre. They were making slow progress, when Lieutenant Rowe ordered Scott and Bobby Joe to inspect a house for Germans. Their friend, Crockett, joined them and died by gunshot. Scott was shaken up by Crockett's death.
In late June, the troop headed for St. Lô again, but their advance was still slow. A few days later, Lt. Rowe took Scott on a mission to capture a German soldier. They came at him from behind and Scott grabbed him by the neck, while Lt. Rowe held him down. This was most likely one of the factors for Scott's promotion to Sergeant. Meanwhile, the United States captured St. Lô and Scott's platoon move on to Moyon. In August, Scott's leg was injured, while fighting in Vire, and sent back to England.
After the war, Scott returned to Roanoke, where he lived with his parents. He attended college for a year, but dropped out to work. Scott met his future wife, Julia Bennett, while working as a short-order cook. They married in 1952 and had three children named, Nancy, Joseph, and Michael. Their youngest son, a pilot, died during the Vietnam War in 1968.
Scott opened a successful restaurant in Christiansburg with his wife. After his leg was amputated, Scott was forced to retire in 1973. He spent much of his time counseling troubled youth around Roanoke. Scott Collins passed away at the age of sixty-five on March 19, 1992.
Personality and traits
Scott would not describe himself as "brave," though many of his actions during the war suggest otherwise. He was homesick during the war and looked forward to every letter he received. Scott was hesitant about making friends in Normandy, because he had seen so many people die already.
|James Collins||Mrs. Collins|
|Julia Bennett||Danny Collins||Ellen Collins|
|Nancy Collins||Joseph Collins||Michael Collins|
Behind the scenes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, Walter Dean Myers, pages 98, 110-112
- ↑ The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, Walter Dean Myers, Epilogue, page 116
- ↑ The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, Walter Dean Myers, pages 11, 81
- ↑ The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, Walter Dean Myers, page 92