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In Memory Of Our Poets

Lt. Col. William H. Naftel (Military Science, Dept. Head 1968 -1985)

NAFTEL, William "Hugh", Lt. Col. Retired, age 90, a resident of Montgomery died at 6:01 A.M. July 31, 2011. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Saint John Naftel and Nina King Naftel, brother Joseph King Naftel and sister-in-law Frances Cruse Naftel, brother James Phillip Naftel and sister-in-law Nathilee Johnson Naftel. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Frances Boutwell Naftel, daughter Phyllis Davis (Wilson) of Bryson City N.C., three sons William Hugh Jr., Mt. Dora, FL, Reese McNeal (Linda) of Overland Park, KS, and Conrad D'Arby (Julie) of Montgomery, AL, eight grand children and ten great grand children, a brother St. John Naftel, Jr. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, August 5, 2011 at Leak Memory Chapel, Rev. Kenny Hoomes and Dale Huff officiating. Burial with military honor guard will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Hugh was born in Naftel, Alabama on September 11, 1920.Graduated from Union Springs High School. He then moved to Montgomery to work. He attended the First Baptist Church where he met Frances (his angel); they fell in love and were married in May of 1942. He was drafted in 1942, went to OCS and was commissioned a Lt. in 1943. He served through World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945. He enrolled at the University of Alabama, then transferred to and graduated from Huntingdon College before being recalled to active duty in 1950. During the war, Hugh was transferred to the17th Airborne Division, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment located in the vicinity of Chalon, France to prepare for an airborne assault East of the Rhine River near Wesel, to seize terrain east of the Rhine, destroying enemy positions and the German's ability to stop Field Marshall Montgomery's army from crossing the river. On the morning of March 24, 1945 the 17th, including the 513th loaded on to C46 aircraft headed to Germany. Accompanied by the British 6th Airborne Division. This task force included 17,387 men, 1636 aircraft and 1,000 fighter planes along with 1326 gliders. As they reached the landing zone they received intense enemy fire. Hugh's plane was being hit with 20mm automatic weapons, machine gun and rifle fire. They were an easy target flying at only 600 ft. As the green jump light came on, Hugh and his men began jumping, the aircraft was hit by flak. Luckily he and his men had cleared the plane. Unfortunately, the crew did not survive. Hugh felt the Lord was with him and his men as they floated to the ground. Men all around them were being killed, Hugh's platoon landed safely in an open field coming under intense fire. The 513th was able to assemble under intense fire and fought their way south seizing their objective and capturing over 1,200 prisoners. It was during this operation that he was awarded the Bronze Star. Hugh made it through the war without being wounded and would make the army his career, serving honorably in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He also served as Professor of Military Science at the University of Puerto Rico- San Juan, and at Jacksonville State University, Al. Hugh retired in 1968 having served his country for over 25 years and receiving a number of military honors. Moving back to Montgomery, Hugh became the Director of Army Instruction for the Montgomery County School System, until retiring in 1985. He officed out of Sidney Lanier High School for 17 years. He loved helping to mold future productive, honorable citizens and officers. After retiring for the second time he and Frances picked up their passports and traveled around the world for the next adventure of their life together. In Montgomery Hugh and Frances once again attended the First Baptist Church where they had met so many years before. His role in the church expanded from just attending, to helping develop the TV ministry, to becoming a deacon. He loved the church, its' congregation and fellowship. Hugh believed strongly in his country, his God and the truth. He will be missed by all those that knew and loved him. Leak-Memory Chapel Directing www.leak-mc.com