Blount met wife while attached to Vienna Honor Guards

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2019

O J Blount WWII Veteran



At 18 years of age, O J Blount was drafted into the Army in 1944. He was living in Garnett, Ark. After basic training, he received training as a cook, before shipping to France aboard the SS Sea Robin. His unit marched through France into Germany and was near Nuremburg when the war ended. He was stationed with the 202 Military Police Unit until discharged in 1947 as a Staff Sergeant. One of his strongest memories was watching US soldiers interrogate German Concentration Camp guards near Dacchau. O J had seen some of the rooms where the Germans had hung prisoners from large hooks hanging on the walls. He guessed that the US soldiers had seen that and more because they were very rough with the German guards. One technique was for one interrogator to give a German prisoner a cigarette, question him quietly, then turn him over to  another interrogator who slapped the cigarette out of his mouth, sometimes knocking them down. Before leaving Europe, O J was attached to Gen. Mark Clark’s Vienna Honor Guard. It was while with that unit, he met Liliana Kostova, near Salzburg, where she was teaching German to American soldiers.  Liliana was from Sofia, Bulgaria. After O J’s discharge , he met Liliana in Canada, where she had emigrated, and they were married in 1952. O J rejoined the Army that year and was sent to Korea. He remembers being stationed near the 38thparallel when the conflict ended. He was discharged in 1954 but joined the Air Force Reserve in 1955 and remained there until 1961. . They lived briefly in Louisiana before moving to Knoxville, TN. O J and Liliana’s daughter, Neranza, was born in Knoxville in 1955 In Knoxville, O J rejoined the Air Force at McGee- Tyson AFB. He was a part of the 110thTactical Control Unit of the Tennessee Air National Guard from 1970 until being discharged in 1986 as a Master Sergeant. While in Knoxville, O J worked for the Knoxville Utility Board while in the Tennessee Air Guard. They then moved to their present location near the Covington – Escambia County line in Alabama.. Liliana died in 2008. In 2010, O J married Lucy Conklin. Lucy had been widowed from Charles L. Evans of Brewton, AL. Charles was also a WWII veteran, having served in the Air Force for 20 years. O J and Lucy are the proud operators of Queen’s Castle Beekeeping Association that produces honey.

Front of O J’s ID for the Vienna Honor Guards.

Inside of O J’s ID for the Gen. Mark Clark’s Vienna Honor Guards.

O J and Lucy Blount with the Honor Flight in Washington, DC in 2018
[Photo courtesy Kendra Majors]

O J Blount cooking for the troops.