WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of the late Benjamin Haymon, a WWII veteran who served in the Pacific Theater, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.
Haymon shared memories from his life’s experiences during an interview with a member of Boozman’s staff for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project on November 21, 2019.
Haymon was born on November 8, 1909. He grew up in McKamie, in Lafayette County, Arkansas on his family’s farm where they grew corn, cotton and various fruits.
“That’s where we grew up, working on a farm,” he said.
After graduating from McKamie High School, Haymon had a variety of jobs, including farming and working at a paper mill in Louisiana.
On April 25, 1941, Haymon was drafted into the Army. At the age of 31, he was considerably older than many of his brothers in arms.
He was deployed to the Pacific Theater where he served as a cook in Port Moresby, Australia. He continued his service in New Hebrides, now called Vanuatu.
During his military service, Haymon was surrounded by the realities of war, but courageously continued to perform his duties.
After returning home, Haymon worked in Garland County, Arkansas and raised his sons Lonnie and Jeffery. Following in their father’s footsteps, both sons served in the Armed Forces.
During a ceremony to honor Haymon in November 2019, he was presented with the WWII Victory Medal, coins, and letters, but the most moving moment was the formal presentation of the American flag. Haymon repeatedly shared a heartfelt “thank you” to those who attended and honored him.
Haymon passed away December 18, 2019. At the time, he was the oldest known WWII veteran in Arkansas. He is buried at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.
“Benjamin Haymon led a well-lived life. His accomplishments and story will continue to be told, and will continue to inspire future generations of Americans. I am grateful for his service to our nation and am pleased we were able to collect his stories,” Boozman said.
Boozman will submit Haymon’s entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans.