93-year-old World War II Blount County veteran gets his high school diploma on his birthday


By WBRC Staff

BLOUNT CO., Ala. (WBRC) – On his 93rd birthday a Blount County American hero and patriot can now call himself a high school graduate.

Chester England, a World War II veteran, left Blount County High School Dec. 1944 on the advisement of his brother who was serving in Germany at the time.

Friday night England finally got his diploma from Blount County High School which is now Oneonta High School.

The event was a surprise.

England joined the Merchant Marines as a gunner on the S. S. Catham.

He served from May 1945 until Aug. 1945.

England then volunteered to go back to the Pacific (the Philippines and Guam) to aid in cleaning up the destruction.

He was honorably discharged for a second time on Nov. 21, 1945.

England married Ms. Ruby Hicks on Sept. 7, 1946. He and his bride have been married for 73 years with 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.

England retired from Southern Electric Steel after 20 years of service, and went on to serve as the grounds keeper for the Birmingham WaterWorks Board where he received several Birmingham Beautification Awards.