Caughey Branham Culpepper Jr.

Male, #20565, (30 Mar 1920 - 30 Jul 1944)
Father*Caughey Branham Culpepper (9 Nov 1897 - 12 Jul 1973)
Mother*Sarah Vesta Willingham (5 Jun 1895 - 3 Apr 1966)
Birth*30 Mar 1920 Caughey was born at Fort Valley, Houston Co., Georgia, on 30 Mar 1920.1,2 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Caughey was listed as a son in Caughey Branham Culpepper's household on the 1930 Census at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia.3 
World War II*between 1942 and 1944 He served as an officer in World War II between 1942 and 1944
(Caughey B. Culpepper, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, 0-029804, United States Marine Corps. Entered the Service from Georgia, died July 30, 1944 and was awarded a Purple Heart.)4,2 
Death*30 Jul 1944 He died at Pacific on 30 Jul 1944 at age 24.5,4,2,6 
Letter/Message Text*10 Oct 1944 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
3rd Joint Assault Signal Co.
Hq. Bn. 3rd Marine Division

10 October 1944

My Dear Mr. and Mrs. Culpepper,

As Lieutenant Culpepper's company commander, and for his many friends both officers and enlisted men in Third JAS Co., I want to extend heartfelt sympathies. His loss has been keenly felt in the company, for he was one of the best liked, most respected officers in my command. His fine character, loyalty, untiring enthusiasm and devotion to duty made him an inspiration to us.

Lieutenant Culpepper landed in Guam with the assault waves July 21st.

Largely through his efforts air liaison communications in the regiment to which he was attached functioned smoothly during the early phase of the attack. He was active every minute, doing even more than his team's share of the job assigned to them.

On the night he was killed his air liaison team was with the group furnishing perimeter defense for the battalion in the vicinity of Mt. Irachleo (sp?). It was a dark night and raining; and infiltration of attack by the Japs was imminent. Jap snipers were active, and the Marines occasionally returned the fire.

At about 11:30 p.m. 30 July, Lieutenant Culpepper was hit by a rifle bullet which entered his abdomen. He immediately went into shock, lost consciousness, and although every possible effort to save his life was made by the doctor and corpsmen, died a few minutes later without any suffering.

He was buried with full military honors in grave number 3, row 13, Army, Navy and Marine Corps Cemetery No. 1, on Guam.

John H. Ellis,

Note: Caughey's body was later reinterred in Hawaii. This letter provided to Culpepper Connections by his cousin, Judge George Bryant Culpepper.7
Letter/Message Text2 Sep 1945  He wrote on 2 Sep 1945:
Statement of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet, at the signing of the Surrender Instrument by Japan.

Tokyo Bay. Aboard the battleship Missouri. September 2, 1945.

On board all vessels at sea and in port, and at our many island bases in the Pacific, there is rejoicing and thanksgiving. The long and bitter struggle, which Japan started so treacherously on the 7th of December 1941, is at an end.

I take great pride in the American forces which have helped to win this victory. America can be proud of them. The officers and men of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and merchant marine who fought in the Pacific have written heroic new chapters in this Nation's military history. I have infinite respect for their courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty. We also acknowledge the great contribution to this victory made by our valiant Allies. United we fought and united we prevail.

The port of Tokyo, which was first opened by Commodore Perry in 1853, is now crowded with United States men-of-war. The process of bringing Japan into the family of civilized nations, which was interrupted when Japan launched her program of conquest, will soon begin again.

Today all freedom-loving peoples of the world rejoice in the victory and feel pride in the accomplishments of our combined forces. We also pay tribute to those who defended our freedom at the cost of their lives.

On Guam is a military cemetery in a green valley not far from my headquarters. The ordered rows of white crosses stand as reminders of the heavy cost we have paid for victory. On these crosses are the names of American soldiers, sailors and marines -- Culpepper, Tomaino, Sweeney, Bromberg, Depew, Melloy, Ponziani -- names that are a cross-section of democracy. They fought together side by side. To them we have a solemn obligation-the obligation to insure that their sacrifice will help to make this a better and safer world in which to live.

To achieve this it will be necessary for the United Nations to enforce rigidly the peace terms that will be imposed upon Japan. It will also be necessary to maintain our national strength at a level which will discourage future acts of aggression aimed at the destruction of our way of life.

Now we turn to the great tasks of reconstruction and restoration. I am confident that we will be able to apply the same skill, resourcefulness, and keen thinking to these problems as were applied to the problems of winning the victory.

"A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won."8
Burial*14 Feb 1947 His body was interred on 14 Feb 1947 at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu Co., Hawaii. Plot C Row 1 Grave 213.4,2 
Biography* Rev. George Bright Culpepper wrote on p. 16 of "ONE FAMILY - CULPEPPER" a 25 page type manuscript completed 8 Oct 1942: They [C. B. Culpepper, Sr. and Vesta Willingham] have only one child, a splendid son, now over 22 years old, C. B. Culpepper Jr., born March 30/20. He is attending Law School at Emory University, Atlanta. He had joined the Marines and will enter that branch of the service as soon as he gets his diploma.... My oldest grandson, Caughey Branham Culpepper, graduated from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, North Carolina....
     The following excerpt is from p. 228 of the History of Peach County: Caughey [Branham Culpepper,] Jr., was a graduate of Emory Law School. A Marine lieutenant, he lost his life in a Pacific Island battle during World War II.
     From George Bryant Culpepper, April 2001:
     "My cousin Caughey B. Culpepper, Jr. might have been the marine referred to by Admiral Nimitz. He was killed by friendly fire in the South Pacific and was later reinterred in the cemetery in Hawaii....
     "Caughey Jr. was a brilliant young man. He graduated from Emory Law School in '42 or '43 and reported for duty with the Marines. He didn't live long. As I recall, he was mistakenly shot at night by another marine. He was my great uncle Caughey's only child." 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited14 Mar 2011


  1. George Bright Culpepper, One Family - Culpepper, James Marion Culpepper family, 25 page, typed manuscript, unpub., 8 Oct 1942.
    p 16.
  2. National Cemetery Administration, compiler, US Veterans Gravesites, 1775-2006, Online database at, 2006.
    Caughey B. Culpepper Jr., 30 Mar 1920 - 30 Jul 1944, Served as Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, Interred 14 Feb 1947 in National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Section C, Site 1213.
  3. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 125, page 17B, 926 Waverly Way, NE, Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA
    Home=$8000, Radio=N, Farm=N (Caughey Branham Culpepper, ID: 34338)
    Caughey B. Culpepper, Head, M, 32, M, md @ 21, GA/GA/GA, Stenographer for RR
    Vesta W. Culpepper, Wife, F, 34, M, md @ 23, GA/GA/GA, Stenographer for dental clinic
    Caughey B. Culpepper, Jr., Son, M, 10, S, GA/GA/GA.
  4. American Battle Monuments Online Database, American Battle Monuments Commission, 2005.
  5. History of Peach County Georgia, .
    p 228 'in a Pacific Island battle during World War II.'
  6. Quartermaster General’s Office, compiler, U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945, Online database at, 2007.
    2nd Lt. C. B. Culpepper, Jr.
  7. E-mail written 2000-2008 to Warren L. Culpepper from George Bryant Culpepper (#20569), Fort Valley, Peach Co., GA, e-mail address.
  8. E-mail written 1998-2011 to Culpepper Connections from Capos Conley 'Chip' Culpepper II (#23339), Little Rock, AR, e-mail address.
    Admiral Nimitz's statement provided by Chip Culpepper from Pages 94-96 of the Congressional Record, September 6, 1945.