Big Bend Hospice’s Valor Team honored World War II veteran, James V. Cason, of Madison with a Valor Ceremony on Thursday, July 2. During the ceremony, Cason was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation, a Letter of Appreciation from Cathy Adkison, President and CEO of Big Bend Hospice, a Hospice Veteran Pin, a medallion and an afghan blanket in red, white and blue. He also received the highest honor that he can receive from another veteran. He was saluted by the veterans on the Valor Team. The Valor Team researched Cason’s time in the U.S. Army and read it to the guests at the ceremony. It reads as follows: “There were four batteries of the 226th Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA) Searchlight Battalion and Tech Corporal Cason served in B Battery as a radar operator. When the 226th first arrived in England it became part of the island’s integrated antiaircraft defense. The battalion crossed the channel in August 1944 and was initially deployed supporting the drive across France and the Low Countries. The Battalion was organized with radar sections, searchlight sections and antiaircraft gun sections. The radar sections were the backbone of the AAA defense.
As the unit radar picked up incoming German planes, the searchlights illuminated the aircraft, briefly blinding the pilots as the gunners engaged them. As the 226th moved forward, the radar sections always leapfrogged ahead of the rest of the battalion. For much of the European Campaign, the 226th was attached to the 9th Air Force’s Night Fighter Squadrons. In their role with the night fighters, the 226th engaged Luftwaffe planes and V-1 buzz bombs. In addition, the battalion’s 36 searchlights were used to put up over-light canopies that saved countless planes, pilots and aircrews that were lost or disabled in night combat as the radar sections helped to vector them to safety. Tech Corporal Cason participated in the Battle of the Bulge as the Luftwaffe concentrated on destroying airfields vital to the Allied efforts to defend and collapse the Bulge. While his unit was crossing the Rhine River, shrapnel wounded Tech Corporal Cason. He refused to report his wounds so that he could remain with his unit. The 226th earned four battle stars on the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. In addition, Tech Corporal Cason was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.”
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1. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Jessie R. Box, July 2, 2015. - James Cason was honored by Big Bend Hospice’s Valor Team for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. Pictured, from left to right, are: Jackie Pittman, Henry Lowery, Lou Bender, Vercie Cason, James Cason, Earlene Knight, Jack Pittman, Dick Barnum and Rip Prine.