Shenandoah County Library Archives

Shenandoah County Library Digital Archives

MMA Cadet Lionel Clyde "Buddy" Mitchell


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MMA Cadet Lionel Clyde "Buddy" Mitchell


Massanutten Military Academy (Woodstock, Shenandoah County, Va)
Military academies - Virginia - Woodstock
Military education - Virginia - Woodstock
United States . Army . Reserve Officers' Training Corps
Mitchell, Lionel Clyde "Buddy" (1923-2010)


Portrait of Lionel Clyde "Buddy" Mitchell wearing his MMA school uniform. The patch on his shoulder indicates he served in the Army ROTC.

Buddy spent most of his life in the military as his obituary in the Northern Virginia Daily (December 16, 2010) reported. The excerpt below is from his record on the Find-A-Grave website.

He was born in Majestic, KY, but grew up in Edinburg, where mother worked for the telephone company.

He ran away from home in 1938 (about the time of this photograph) to join the Army "to help support the family." He was 15. He caught pneumonia in basic training. The Red Cross contacted his mother. The Army sent him home when they realized he was too young. He rejoined the Army when he was 17 in August 1940.

During World War II, he was assigned to the 8th Signal Corps, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. On D-Day, June 6, 1944 at 12:06 a.m., he jumped behind German lines into Normandy. He saw heavy combat and was awarded two Purple Hearts. After the successful Normandy invasion, the 101st fought its way north through France, Holland and Belgium, where the Germans surrounded the 101st at Bastogne. The heavy artillery bombardment lasted from Dec. 20-27, 1944. "I was never more scared in my life," he once said.

He was discharged after the war at Fort Meade, MD, returned home and worked at the Sinclair station. He later married Ernestine Coffman (1924-2005), (Virginia Coffman's sister).

He re-enlisted into the Signal Corps on Jan. 13, 1948. He soon had a three-year assignment in occupied Germany. He became a commissioned officer in 1952, served a tour in Korea, then retired from the Army in 1964.

He worked for Sears for six years in farm and fencing and was the top salesman. He finished his working days as an assistant field director for the Red Cross.

Capt. Mitchell left behind his son, Mitch, and daughters, Deborah and Diane Mitchell.


Morrison Studio


Morrison Studio Collection - Shenandoah County Historical Society


Shenandoah County Library


Prior to 1940


Identified by Virginia Stultz Gochenour.
Additional biographical information was compiled from public records including the Find-A-Grave website.





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Morrison Studio, “MMA Cadet Lionel Clyde "Buddy" Mitchell,” Shenandoah County Library Archives, accessed June 18, 2024,


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