Melvin Roy and Ruby Ann (Sims) Bishop Family
Fort Sill Newsletter, Fort Sill, OK, 11 August 1961
Sgt Melvin R Bishop - What Is A Soldier?
Quite an addition has been made to the duty roster of "A" Battery. This addition
is in the form of a man and a soldier. The term "soldier" alone would be an injustice if
applied to this man, for he is the most decorated man in Alpha Battery and probably in the
entire battalion at the present time. The man possessing this impressive presentation is
Sgt. Melvin R. Bishop.
Sgt. Bishop was born in the small town of Mexico, Missouri on 27 July 1923. He
attended school in Riverton, Illinois. His other educational accomplishments include an
Army GED high school diploma, and a one year college equivalency, also attained through
the Army GED program. In 1939, Sgt. Bishop left school and started his vocational career
as a truck driver for a construction company in Mexico, Missouri. He also joined the
National Guard at this time with B Btry 128th Field Artillery. One year later, in November,
1940, his unit was called to active duty, and he was shipped to Fort Jackson, South Carolina
for field training. After two years of training at Fort Jackson, Sgt. Bishop was transferred to
Camp Blanding, Florida as part of the 13th Field Artillery Brigade. In 1943, he was transferred
to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, now with the 6th Armor Division which was slated to receive
six months of desert training at Camp Cook, California. At the end of this period of training,
Sgt. Bishop left Camp Cook, along with the 3d Army, bound for England to participate in
physical type training.
For six long, tough months, Sgt. Bishop developed to be physically fit, and combat
proficient. He soon got a chance to practice what he had been taught when his unit received
orders directing it into actual combat. Leaving England in 1944, he and his unit hit Utah Beach
at St. Lo. He continued to move with the 3rd Army, and during this time he was wounded twice.
By the end of the war, his combat efforts and actions were rewarded when he was decorated
with the Silver Star, Bronse Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, and five Campaign Stars.
These decorations symbolized the high degree of bravery and initiative displayed by Sgt.
Bishop under actual combat conditions. Sgt. Bishop won the Silver Star for gallantry during the
battle of Bastogne, Belgium, on December 31, 1944. Wounded early in the day, Sgt. Bishop
refused to leave his squad to be evacuated. Later that night, his squad went out as a wire-laying
party and he was wounded again. Again, Sgt. Bishop refused evacuation until he had carefully
instructed every member of his squad concerning their mission.
At the end of the war, Sgt. Bishop reenlisted as an MP and served for three years as
guard commander in U.S.D.B., located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He left Wisconsin in 1948 to
be assigned to U.S.D.B. at Fort leavenworth, Kansas. This assignment didn't last long, for later
in that year, Sgt. Bishop was shipped to Okinawa where he served as Operations Sergeant and
1st Sgt. for the 557th MP Co. there. He was commended for his good work and was transferred
to the Okinawa Engineer District, Camp Kue, to serve as the Camp's Security Sgt. The year 1952
saw Sgt. Bishop leave Okinawa for Stateside duty with the 546th MP Co., here at Fort Sill, as
a desk Sgt. After serving with this unit for one year, he was placed on Civilian Component duty
as Sgt. Advisor for the 160th Field Artillery Battalion, and returned to the States in 1958 to
Fort Carson, Colorado. At Fort Carson, Sgt. Bishop trained troops, some of which are assigned
to Fort Sill at this time.
Korea was his next duty locale. He was assigned to the 38th Artillery (280), and later
to the 76th Artillery (8"). Korea was Sgt. Bishop's last overseas duty assignment, and after
taking a nice thirty day leave, he and his family came to Fort Sill again.
Sgt. Bishop and his wife, Ruby, formerly Miss Ruby Sims, are the proud parents of six
children. Incidentally, his oldest son, John, 17, is trying to get into the Air Force.
The Bishop's live at 2001 D Avenue in Lawton. Sgt. Bishops hobbies are centered around
fishing and hunting. Lt Akers
[Submitted by John G Bishop, October 2000]