Kingsport Times News Sunday, April 20, 2014

Community Sunday Stories

Reader shares story of special reunion

May 27th, 2013 12:51 pm by Sunday Scrapbook

Reader shares story of special reunion

This is the story of PFC Byron "Lyle" Egan and PFC Edwin "Abe" B. Lincoln.

Abe and his buddy, Byron, are the only two left from their 532nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery
gun section and from their 473rd Infantry Regiment Company F squad from World
War II.

On April 25, 1945, Abe and Byron (and some other GIs from the 473rd Infantry Regiment
Company F squad) were riding on the front of a tank (2nd Armored Div) as they
entered La Spezia, Italy. When they began taking German machine gun fire, a
number of their squad jumped off the tank and ran into a building where the
door had been blown off the hinges and onto the floor.

Just after they entered the room, a German anti-tank shell landed in the doorway and blasted into the room, wounding everyone in the room except for Abe. Byron was the most
severely wounded. He had shrapnel in his back and had been knocked out. Abe
yelled out the back window to one of their medics. He told him he was going to
pass his wounded friend out the window to the medic. Abe set one end of the
door up in the window sill, put Byron on the door and pushed the door out the
window to the medic.


After that day in April 1945, Abe was never able to track down what had happened to Byron. Did he recover? Was he disabled? Had he died? He didn't know.

Then one day in the fall of 1998 - 53 years later - Byron called Abe's house. He had gotten
Abe's phone number from another Army buddy who was still living at the time.

The two men - Abe and Byron - who hadn't seen each other since April 25, 1945, couldn't meet in person due to family  health issues, but they had wonderful times writing
letters to each other and visiting on the phone. 

Byron credits Abe with saving his life in World War II.

Sadly, Byron's wife died last year. 

Now, he is able to travel with assistance. And travel he did.

Byron's nephew (a retired Air Force colonel) brought Byron to Arizona to visit Daddy on March 20, 2013. This was the first time that Daddy and Byron had seen each other in person since April 25, 1945.

What a special reunion!

Byron "Lyle" Egan, formerly of Scott County, now resides in Kingsport. He is an active member of The Keykeepers band, where he plays guitar and sings harmony with his brothers Zane and Horace. 

Marilyn Gate shared this story written by Abe's daughter, Eileen J. Lincoln. If you'd like to "Share Your Story," send it to sundayscrapbook@timesnews.net. We'll feature selected "Share Your Story" submissions from readers each month in Sunday Scrapbook.

Additional Photos

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