Throughout the 20th century, Vines family men saw history in making

10:00 am | July 30, 2013

For the better part of the 20th century, the Vines family of the Valley Forge community has served the region and the U.S. as members of the armed forces.

Photo ContributedPaul Vines served as a Medium Tank Crewman for the 23rd Tank Battalion during World War II. He was part of the crew that liberated the concentration camp at Hurlach, in southern Germany.

Photo Contributed
Paul Vines served as a Medium Tank Crewman for the 23rd Tank Battalion during World War II. He was part of the crew that liberated the concentration camp at Hurlach, in southern Germany.

The Vineses began their military service during World War I, when Monro and Tracy Vines were called up to service.
Though both men were drafted into the U.S. Army, according to Monro’s grandson, Johnnie Vines, many from the area volunteered.

“Most of them were going hungry,” Johnnie said. “That’s the reason they volunteered.”

Though little is known about either man’s time in service, Tracy’s son, Brownlow Vines, knew some of the details of his father’s service.

“He was a foot soldier in World War I,” Brownlow said. “They didn’t have any tanks then, and you had to be a foot soldier. But they didn’t have boots; they just had leggings.”

That lack of protection proved to be detrimental to many of the WWI foot soldiers.

“A lot of those boys got frostbit,” Brownlow said. “(Dad) was disabled when he came back from service.”

The next member of the Vines family to enter service was Johnnie’s father, Paul Vines, who enlisted in the U.S. Army on Aug. 25, 1944, after working as a carpenter’s assistant.

After completing his training at the army base in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., he was assigned as a Medium Tank Crewman in the 23rd Tank Battalion, in the 12th Armored Division.

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