Time Capsule: Centenary of M.B. Etheredge
The Huntsville Item celebrates the centenary of M.B. Etheredge:
Huntsville’s greatest combat hero was born 100 years ago today — June 7, 1915 — on a 500-acre farm owned by his parents five miles west of Weldon, Texas.
Assigned to Company K, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in 1944, Lieutenant Etheredge was the only survivor among the company’s six officers after the brutal fighting at the Anzio beachhead. His heroism in Italy and France earned him three Silver Stars for gallantry in action, two Bronze Stars for valor, and two Purple Hearts for being wounded in action, along with the Combat Infantryman Badge.
M.B.’s awards and decorations among World War II soldiers rank second only to those of Lieutenant Audie Murphy of Hunt County, Texas, with whom he later became close friends when both saw postwar service with Texas’s famed 36th Infantry Division (nicknamed “T-Patchers” for the large T for Texas on their shoulder insignia).
With the war won in 1945, M.B. returned to Sam Houston State to earn a Master of Arts degree, served three significant terms in the Texas House of Representatives, held leadership positions at Huntsville’s Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, helped charter two area banks, and taught for 33 years as an associate professor of education at Sam Houston State University.
Etheredge died in 2014.