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CHARLES F. SCOTT, JR. - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 07 April 1945 - photo: USA Flight Training)
Original Scott Crewmen:
F/O Charles F. Scott, Jr. (P)(2nd from left),
F/O Raymond J. Volz (CP)(right), F/O Samuel D. Blackwell (N)
Sgt Joseph R. Madden (TOG),
Sgt James C. Gale, Jr. (E),
Four Missions flown by the Scott Crew:
by Sarah Scott
On August 1, 1946, in my east Tennessee hometown of Athens, my father was one of the GI's who led what has come to be known as "The Battle of Athens." These men had fought for liberty overseas only to see it withheld at home by a corrupt political machine. On 8/1/46, election day, things came to a head, and my father acted with bravery against a group of gun-toting "deputies" who were thugs.
As usual, ballot boxes were stolen and stuffed, but this time, the GI's, led in part by my father, put up resistance. Shots were fired throughout the night, and finally the political machine surrendered. A bipartisan slate called the "GI Ticket" was elected. In the aftermath, the Good Government League was created. It became a model nationwide for civic and electoral reform. In many towns, machine politics was supplanted by a movement toward openness and accountability, and those efforts were led by GI's. The GI's in Athens were the first.
The Battle of Athens made the front page of the New York Times, and Eleanor Roosevelt wrote about it in her newspaper column. My father and a few others spoke all over the country. The most scholarly account of the battle, a book by professor Steven Byrum, cites the time Daddy and two others were invited to speak to the national VFW convention in Boston. They raised the Tenn. flag over the Miles Standish Hotel where the convention was being held. How like him.
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]