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Double trouble

Wisecarver twins served in U.S. Army together

In the last issue of The Cooperator, we introduced “Stories of Service,” reader-submitted profiles of veterans who bravely served our country. We’re pleased to feature two more stories in this issue as a continuation of the series.

My daddy, Coy Wisecarver, was drafted into the Army on Jan. 6, 1954. His twin brother Roy volunteered for the service so they could serve together. This left their mother and elderly grandfather to take care of the family farm alone. They did basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and then stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash. When the brothers would come in to ask for their mail, the unit’s postman would fret about who was who. It got to be pretty discouraging when he would guess wrong almost every time. Unable to beat them, when one of the identical soldiers came to get his mail, the mail clerk simply handed him the mail for both brothers. The mail clerk wasn’t the only soldier confused by the carbon copy infantrymen. Both of the Wisecarvers were squad leaders in the 75-mm. Recoilless Platoon of the 44th Infantry.

Coy and Roy had an unusual and memorable experience during their time of service when they were in a scene of the Audie Murphy movie, “To Hell and Back.” Murphy was one of the most decorated soldiers in World War II who went on to become a famous actor. The filming of the movie was in the desert area of Yakima, Wash., but some scenes were filmed at Fort Lewis. The filmmakers utilized the troops there as extras. Taking part in the movie meant extra work for the soldiers. For one scene, the screenplay called for it to be muddy around a little white house, and the troops had to haul water for two weeks to create the desired conditions.

During the scene that the twin brothers took part in, hundreds of troops marched across the parade deck while Murphy was being presented the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“We were in that one scene, and it took us two days to get it right,” Coy said.

“It didn’t take that long, but it felt like it,” said Roy.

There were so many troops in the scene that the brothers were never really able to see themselves in the movie.

“We were wearing steel pots and we could see where we were, but there were so many companies going by so fast on the screen it was hard to tell,” said Coy.

Roy and Coy Wisecarver were honorably discharged from the Army on Jan. 6, 1956, after obtaining the rank of Corporal. They returned to the family farm and raised dairy cattle, hogs, and tobacco for many years. They raised hay and cattle for the next 60 years. Coy still lives on the farm, but Roy passed away a few years ago.

– Submitted by Vicki Brady, Whitesburg

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