“Journeys With a Gratiot Cemetarian” 3.2: Cleo R. Riddle, WWII Veteran, Pine Grove Cemetery


Cleo Raymond Riddle was born May 4, 1919 to James and Lizzie Riddle in Edgewood. He was one of three children and served Gratiot County in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In March 1943 he entered the Navy and attended boot training at Great Lakes Naval Training at Great Lakes, Illinois. Cleo was 23 years old. By late May 1943, Cleo was sent to Gulf Port, Mississippi for four weeks. By July he had returned to New York City. In October he wrote home to his mother from “Somewhere in South America.” About his assignment he wrote to his mother, “It’s so hot here. We aren’t far from the equator. There are lots of bananas and coconuts. I will probably freeze when I get back (home). It rains almost every day and it sure is welcome.” He also mentioned how water was rationed and that there were five men from Michigan in his gun crew. He eventually would end up in the South Pacific. After the war, he worked Cleo married Doris Allen. He went on to become a Mason, a member of the Ithaca VFW Post #7805, a member of the Ithaca United Methodist Church, and a 4-H leader. Cleo Riddle passed away on June 27, 2002.  Cleo Raymond Riddle is one of many Gratiot County men and women who served their country, state and county during a time of war. He rests in Pine Grove Cemetery.

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