First Lieutenant Edgar Harold Lloyd
First Lieutenant Edgar Harold Lloyd was born 28 February 1922, in Yarbro (Mississippi County) Arkansas to Edgar Bentley Lloyd and Lillian Lindley Lloyd, who were farmers. He had one sister named Marvin Emma. Lloyd graduated from Blytheville High School in 1939 and then attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He was president of the Associated Students and active in fraternity and other campus activities. He was captain of Company F of the Reserve Officer Training Corps infantry unit. Inducted into the U.S. Army in April 1943, he was allowed to complete college, graduating with a BSA in agronomy on 7 June 1943.
Lloyd then attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 9 November 1943. After various postings for training, on 1 July 1944, he went overseas as part of General George C. Patton’s Third Army. He was a rifle platoon leader of Company E, 319th Infantry, Eightieth Division.
By September 1944, the 319th Infantry was participating in the Lorraine operation to repel German troops near the Moselle River in France. On September 14, his company was assigned to expel 200 enemy troops from a heavily fortified position near the small town of Pompey, approximately twelve kilometers north of the city of Nancy. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on that date and was subsequently promoted to first lieutenant. His Medal of Honor citation notes that Lloyd “leaped to his feet and led his men on a run into the raking fire of the enemy’s position, shouting encouragement to them. He jumped into the first enemy machine gun position, knocked out the gunner with his fist, dropped a grenade, and jumped out before it exploded.” During that action, he “personally destroyed 5 machine guns and many of the enemy and by his daring leadership and conspicuous bravery inspired his men to overrun the enemy positions and accomplish the objective in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.”
Lloyd was scheduled to receive his Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but he was killed in action by enemy sniper fire on 16 November 1944, near Limey, France. He is buried on the Mississippi County Courthouse lawn in Blytheville, adjacent to a monument honoring all Mississippi County service men killed in both world wars. His family gave his Medal of Honor to the county judge, and it is kept in the judge’s office in the courthouse.
After the war, The University of Arkansas honored its war heroes by naming several temporary housing facilities for some of them. Lloyd Halls, a group of six barrack-style buildings, served as dormitories until 1955 and were later demolished. Lloyd Way, a street in Fort Benning, Georgia, is also named for him, as is an athletic field in Europe.