Legionnaire Post 516 delegation, grandson to visit namesakes grave in Philippines

Henry County native Willie B. Hatcher died in the line of duty while serving in the U.S. Army during World War Two. Members of the American Legion post named in his honor will travel, along with Hatcher's grandson, to his grave for the first such visit since Hatcher was killed Nov. 1, 1944.

McDONOUGH — The McDonough City Council has approved a request to change the name of a road to memorialize a city resident who died in World War II.

Legion Road, located between Ga. Highway 42 and Ga. Highway 155 South, will be renamed to Willie B. Hatcher Boulevard, in honor of Hatcher, who lost his life on Nov. 1, 1944.

“The American Legion Post 516 approached Councilman (Rufus) Stewart and I about a year ago about changing the name to Willie B. Hatcher Boulevard. They are doing tremendous work down there at their post.”

Elrod said the American Legion post wanted to change the name in order to capitalize on some of the work they have done.

“They’re trying to bring Mr. Hatcher’s remains back from (the Philippines,)” Elrod said. “The Hatcher family has come several times, and they feel it would be a great honor to rename the street.”

“They have been working on having the remains sent back here for, I don’t know how many years,” said McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland.

Elrod said there is one residence on the street, and the residents there are in support of changing the name of the road.

According to a 2016 Henry Herald “A Veteran’s Story” article, Hatcher, a 27-year old Technician Fifth Class in the 97th Engineer General Support Group of the U.S. Army, was buried in Plot F, Row 14, Grave 93 in the Manila-American Cemetery in the Philippines.

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Government Reporter

A native of Hampton, Georgia, Joe Adgie has worked for the Valdosta Daily Times, Clayton News, Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen. Adgie joined the Henry Herald in April 2018.

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