World War II fallen remembered at Coleman Hill

wcrenshaw@macon.comMay 25, 2014 

A marker on Coleman Hill in Macon includes the names of Bibb County residents killed in World War II.

WAYNE CRENSHAW — wcrenshaw@macon.com

A monument in Coleman Hill Park remembers those who gave all in World War II.

The names of 228 local men are engraved on the monument that overlooks Macon.

The inscription states that rare magnolias were planted with the monument in honor of the men. There are some magnolias in the park, but historian Jim Barfield said the magnolias planted with the monument died.

The vision had been for the monument to one day be shaded by the magnolias. Barfield said he would like to see them replanted.

One notable name on the monument is John Morrison Birch. He actually died Aug. 25, 1945, 10 days after the war ended. He was killed in a confrontation with Chinese communists.

The conservative John Birch Society formed 13 years after his death was named in his honor. According to the group’s website, Birch’s parents gave permission to use his name.

Birch was a Mercer University student who went to China to serve as a missionary. He helped rescue Jimmy Doolittle’s raiders, who crash landed in China after bombing Japan. He was recruited into military intelligence because he could speak Chinese.

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