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Major Earl Campbell May
U.S. Army, Armor, WWII,
28 Apr 1906-10 Apr 1989

Major Earl C. May circa 1939

Major Earl Campbell May the son of Augustus Noah May and Sarah Elizabeth Cornett. He was born in Berea, and reared Berea and in Lexington, Kentucky where his father was a professor at the University of Kentucky. He was in the "class of '28 at UK, graduating in early '29 with a degree in "commerce" (i.e., Business Administration). When President Roosevelt initiated the CCC there was a need to recruit executives to organize and run the program. At UK dad had been in the ROTC and was in fact an "honor graduate" and a high-ranking member of the program. He received a phone call solicitation and an offer of a commission as a 2nd Lt., which he accepted immediately. He was put in charge (G3) of the "educational program" for the new camp opening in Morehead, Ky. He excelled at this, and was soon promoted, becoming a captain in short order."[May]

"He certainly loved the work...and with his ingenuity thought up many wonderful experiences for those boys. He had a boxing ring built. For his many clever ideas, and success with the whole camp attitude he was well recognized from the top offices-nationally. The boys planted trees widely through the eastern Kentucky mountains. The greatest service those Kentucky boys gave was the extended "mop up" in Ashland during the 1937 Flood. THEY were the workers who handled too-hard labor, and saw great sorrow there. Earl went to the hotels there, got "MY BOYS" settled comfortably. He went to theatres and got his boys passes to whatever pictures could be shown in a flooded city. He was with the CCC camp in Morehead until Uncle called him up, in uniform for the next service."[Stark]

"In about 1939, as the USA began to mobilize for the impending war in Europe, his commission was switched to the US Army, and he was sent to Fort Benning to school. Mom and I followed soon thereafter (I was about 4 years old when we moved). At Benning he volunteered for a mission that called for an "outdoorsman" who was willing to parachute behind enemy lines and live alone in the wilderness, establishing with the local resistance observation networks to report on the enemy. During the hand-to-hand combat training Earl managed to get his back broken (he had injured it once before while diving at UK), preventing him from undertaking the suicidal mission . He continued to excel at the establishment and execution of training programs, eventually becoming a major. He loved the army and would have stayed, except, at war's end he was forced to retire due to his medical condition."[May]

After the war, he moved to Gainesville, Florida and became a leading citizen there making significant contributions to his community.

Mark's Uncle

His son Jackson Campbell May, USMA '58 & his sister Anna E. May Stark

Updated 8:36 PM 1/27/2013
Mark S. Carroll