Charles Teed

Private Charles E. Teed.
– L Company, 47th Infantry Regiment –

Private Charles E. Teed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1940. This picture ended up on the cover of Life Magazine.

Charles E. Teed was born on the 24th of May, 1919 in Effingham, Illinois as the only child of Ralph and Violet (Cramer) Teed.
He attended the local schools and later opened the “Heart Café” in Effingham. 

He was drafted into the Army in 1942. Shortly before he shipped overseas he won $200 shooting craps and was able to send for his fiancee Violet Kincaid and marry her before he headed to the European Theater of War.

While stationed at Fort Bragg, Charles Teed was selected by Life Magazine to be featured as the Private representing the best the Army had to offer. This issue of Life Magazine came out on March 16, 1942.

Private Charles Teed on the March 16, 1942 Life Magazine Cover.

A large series of photographs were taken during the shoot and shows his life at Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, North Carolina and are displayed here.
Photos by George Strock – LIFE Collections.

Charles also visited Fort Bragg and nearby Fayetteville with his wife, and this was captured on camera as well.
Photos by Myron Davis – LIFE Collections



The time in the US Army as an infantryman led him from Effingham, Illinois to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Casablanca, Sicily, Utah Beach, St. Lo, and finally back to Effingham after 5 years. 

While serving with L Company, 47th Infantry Regiment, he was wounded twice. The first time he got shrapnel in his leg, but the second time he got wounded, Charles, now a Sergeant, was outside of St. Lo when a bullet shattered his arm and lung. Sgt. Teed dragged himself over to an orchard. As he looked up at the sky and clouds he thought that would be the last thing he saw. Luckily he was finally found by his platoon leader and shipped to a hospital.

Life Magazine’s best Private to serve in the US Army during World War 2 survived the war. 

Sgt. Charles E. Teed received 2 Purple Hearts, 5 Battle Stars and rose to the rank of Sergeant. After he was discharged from the Army, Charles came back to Effingham where he and Violet raised their family. He eventually opened a TV repair shop at his home on Kentucky Street. He later worked at Crossroads Press.  – Photos by Edward Clark – LIFE Collections

Life magazine featured him in 3 different issues including one 25 years later in 1960, where the magazine took Charles and his wife Violet on a journey retracing his movements through his five years in the Army during WWII. Here is a collection of pictures of the various places they visited during that trip. He visited Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, Morocco, Great Britain and Normandy.
Photos by Leonard Mccombe – LIFE Collections


Charles E. Teed passed away on April 3rd, 1985 and is buried at Oakridge Cemetery in Effingham, Illinois.

Charles E. Teed obituary

Sergeant Charles Teed became the face for the 9th Infantry Division in 1942, but has been remembered ever since.


Charles E. Teed headstone at Oakridge Cemetery in Effingham, Illinois.


Special thank you to Steve Edwards, the grandson of Charles, for providing additional details and pictures.