William Quentin Surratt

Headquarters Company 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

4th Infantry Division

KIA 04/03/1945

 

 

William Q. Surratt was born in Montgomery County, North Carolina on September 6, 1920.
His religion was listed as Protestant.

He attended North Carolina State College at Raleigh, majoring in Forestry and was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu,
Xi Sigma Pi (The National Forestry Honor Fraternity), Alpha Zeta (a professional fraternity for the agriculture and
national resources fields) and the Foresty Club, in which he was the Rolleo Chairman during his Senior year.

In his Junior and Senior years Surratt was also on the staff of the Pi-ne-tum (Journal of Forestry of the North Carolina State College),
being the Circulation Manager for that publication in his Junior year.

 

     

William Q. Surratt's photo in the 1941 edition
of the
Pi-ne-tum.

He was listed in this publication
under the name of

Quentin Surratt

with the nickname of "W.Q."

and home town of Burlington, North Carolina.

 

 

PI-NE-TUM publication staff - William Q. Surratt is in the back row, third from the left.

 

 

 

Surratt enrolled in the R.O.T.C. program at North Carolina State College for all four years he attended the school.
In his Senior year he was a Lieutenant in Company F of the R.O.T.C. program at the school. He was also a member of
Upsilon Sigma Alpha, which was a National Army Fraternity founded in 1933.

 

Photo of the officers of Company F of the R.O.T.C. program at North Carolina State College in 1941.
William Q. Surratt is in the bottom row, second from the right.

From the Agromeck yearbook 1941

 

 

 

William Q. Surratt's date of entry into active service in the Army is January 29, 1942.

He was assigned to Company B 22nd Infantry as an Infantry unit commander on November 10, 1943.

He was serving with Company B 22nd Infantry at Bournemouth, Dorset, England when he was promoted to
1st Lieutenant on May 30, 1944.

He was listed in the Morning Reports of Company B as being Seriously Injured in Action
on June 14, 1944 and dropped from the rolls of Company B on that date with a "Manner of Performance"
rating of "Excellent".

 

Captain William Q. Surratt was killed in action in Germany in the vicinity of Bad Mergentheim on April 3, 1945.

Surratt was assigned to Battalion Staff in Headquarters Company 1st Battalion when killed in action.

 

He was a member of the 1st Battalion Staff during the 22nd Infantry's first penetration into Germany in September 1944.
On September 17, 1944 Company A suffered heavy casualties during its attack against German positions near the town
of Sellerich. Company A's Commander, Captain Haskin, became distraught and was replaced by 1st Lieutenant Peter J. Marco.
As Marco continued the attack he was wounded and listed as missing in action. On September 20 Marco's body was recovered
and his status was changed to Killed In Action. Captain William Q. Surratt was placed in command of Company A on that date.

Surrat continued to command Company A into the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest in November 1944.
After action interviews with officers and enlisted men of the 22nd Infantry conducted during the war
provide the following description of Captain Surratt during the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest:

November 18:

"Just before reaching their objective, in a draw, Capt. William Q. Surratt, the company commander,
observed a group of five enemy to the northeast. Two were standing and three were sitting, looking away
from Capt. Surratt. Putting his finger to his lips for silence, Capt. Surratt beckoned three headquarters men–
Pfc. James Armstrong, Pfc. Aloysius H. Masensas and Pfc. Percival Coggins– to come close. He then said quietly
and deliberately: “One, two, three, FIRE!” Capt. Surratt fired his .45 caliber pistol, Pfc. Armstrong fired his carbine,
Pfc. Masensas fired his BAR, and Pfc. Coggins chimed in with his M1. The five Germans hurriedly started to run,
but all were mowed down. Since they were running in an area which was downhill from Capt. Surratt and his crew,
and the area was clear of trees, they made excellent targets."

November 27:

"...on 27 November one shell hit very close to the foxhole of Capt. William Q. Surratt, the company commander,
and he had to be evacuated. Lt. Donald A. Warner took command of the company after the company commander
had been evacuated."

 

The entry for William Q. Surratt in the casualty listings for the 22nd Infantry in the After Action Report of April 1945.
Note that Surratt's listing had originally been marked as Lightly Wounded in Action but marked through and changed to Killed In Action.
His rank was marked as Captain and his unit as Headquarters Company 1st Battalion ( Hq 1 ).

 

 

 

Captain William Q. Surratt was awarded the Silver Star Medal in Headquarters 4th Infantry Division
General Orders # 82 dated 6 November 1944.

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in Headquarters 4th Infantry Division
General Orders # 87 dated 27 November 1944.

 

 

Captain William Q. Surratt's decorations which could be verified by 1st Battalion website.
He was also awarded the Belgian Fourragere.

 

 

 

 

William Q. Surratt

Photo from the Agromeck yearbook 1941

 

 

 

William Q. Surratt was buried in the temporary U.S. Military Cemetery,
Saint Avold Cemetery, Metz, France and some time later his remains
were returned to the United States where he was
reinterred in North Carolina.

Burial:
Pine Hill Cemetery
Burlington
Alamance County
North Carolina

 

The application for the headstone marker for William Q. Surratt
noting that it was to be inscribed with "Co. A 22 inf". It is signed
by his wife Julia Rebeccca Surratt. William Q. Surratt was also survived
by his daughter.

Photo by DE Sundeen from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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