Joseph Byrd was born in 1921 and lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Joseph was one of eight children.
Joseph entered the Army in 1942. After basic training, he was assigned to serve with the all Black 386 Engineer Battalion, which was formed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. They staged for deployment at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Joseph was sent overseas to the European Theater of Operations on April 20, 1943.
Private Joseph Byrd Died Non-Battle, in a vehicle accident in Italy on March 24, 1945. His father received the government telegram notifying him of his son’s death on Friday April 6th.
Joseph was buried in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, in Nettuno, Italy.
The last letter his father received was dated March 21st, three days before Joseph died. Joseph wrote that he had been ill for a couple of weeks, but had recovered and returned to duty.
Three of his brothers also served in World War II: Isaiah, Jr. in Italy, Ellsworth in France, and Robert in the South Pacific.