Name: Church M Matthews
First Name(s): Church M
Last Name: Matthews
Place of birth: Kentucky, Mason Cnty, Maysville
Rank: Col Chief of Staff
Unit: 22nd AFAB 7th AD
Reported as: KIA
Date of incident: 17-12-1944
Place of incident: Recht area
His story: Colonel Church M Matthews sought and obtained appointment to the Military Academy, which he entered on July 1, 1924 and graduated from on June 9, 1928 as a 2 Lt of field artillery. His service included an initial assignment to foreign service in the Philippine Islands, normal domestic service as a battery officer, two student assignments to the Field Artillery School, some Civilian Conservation Corps duty, a Special Course at the Command and General Staff School, and a tour as instructor at the Military Academy.
When the war was close in 1941, he was relieved as instructor at the Military Academy to Join a new armored division for service with the field artillery. With the exception of a period during the invasion of Normandy, all of his war service from 1941 till his death was with armored divisions. He departed for overseas service, European Theater of Operations, December 29, 1943. He subsequently participated in the Normandy. Northern France, and Germany campaigns from June 8, 1944 to the date of his death.
Colonel Matthews was on his way by Jeep to the headquarters of one of the combat commands. In the vicinity of Recht, Belgium the driver rounded a curve in the road and unexpectedly encountered a German tank. The tank fired, but missed. As the vehicle driver later recounted the event, he attempted to turn, but got the rear wheels in a ditch. The driver and Colonel Matthews then abandoned the Jeep and entered a wood, where they became quickly separated. The driver said that Colonel Matthews had gone up a hill while he had continued back along the valley the road followed. The way Colonel Matthews went led into territory then being overrun by the advancing enemy, and in which he was killed.