Veteran of the Week: Sgt. James T. Fikes

Published 12:22 am Saturday, April 25, 2020

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By MELANIE POOLE / Special to the Reporter

The Veteran of the Week is sponsored by the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor at the American Village — honoring America’s veterans and telling the stories of their service and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.


“The American Village is pleased to join the Shelby County Reporter in recognizing Sergeant James T. Fikes as Veteran of the Week,” American Village founder and CEO Tom Walker said. “He is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who have risked it all for the sake of our country and its freedom. To all veterans we owe a debt we can never fully repay.”

Visit the website,, today and add your loved ones to the Register of Honor. Help us honor, recognize, respect and remember our country’s veterans.

Here are highlights about this week’s Veteran of the Week:

James T. Fikes was born in Tuscaloosa in 1924. He was described as the most handsome man on stage, screen or television by all of his friends. James enlisted in the U.S. Army on Dec. 28, 1942 at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He was noted at the time of his enlistment as being employed in the mechanical treatment of metals and also as single, without dependents. James served as a radio operator on B-24H #41-29556, 515th Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on April 15, 1944. Fikes was killed in action that same year when his B-24 was downed by German flak over the Marshaling Yards, Ploesti, Romania. He was posthumously awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart, and is buried in a common grave at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

Melanie Poole is Communications Officer for the American Village and can be reached at