jacklummus.com   Home Page   Search   Contact Us   Site Map   

Click the <Back> arrow to return to the previous page.

Biography of Charles L. "Curly" Ricks, Jr.

Ennis, Texas

Charles Ricks was a captain in the United States Army. He enlisted in the army on August 10, 1941, and took his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri, which is located in the heart of the Ozarks. He was transferred to Fort Knox in Hardin County, Kentucky for training with the Armored Force Tank Corps. While at Fort Knox he graduated officer’s training school, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. 

In August of 1942 Ricks was shipped out with his unit to England, and continued training for several months. His first combat came against Field Marshal Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa. He was promoted to first lieutenant while fighting in North Africa. 

In December of 1943 he shipped to Italy, and participated in the Naples-Foggia Campaign supporting the 45th Infantry Division. In January of 1944 he was reassigned to support the French Expeditionary Corps in breaking the German Winter Line near Cassino. On either February 3 or 4 he was promoted captain, and made commanding officer of Company A, 755th Tank Battalion. 

On Tuesday, June 13, 1944, Captain Ricks was killed while directing fire using a hand held radio. He was standing on top of one of his tanks to gain a better view of German gun emplacements, and behind a gun turret for cover. At the time of his death, his company was fighting in Italy. The telegram from the War Department reached his parents on Monday morning, July 3, 1944. 

Charles Ricks was the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Ricks of Ennis. He was born in Houston, and moved with his parents to Ennis at the age of twelve. He graduated Ennis High School in 1934. Ricks was an outstanding athlete, and standout on the 1933 Ennis Lion’s football team with Jack Lummus, Luther Lusk and Reginald Tolar. All four were teammates, and died serving their country during World War II. 

Ricks was an outstanding passer with a rifle arm, and Lummus with great hands, and the speed and grace of a gazelle accounted for many touchdowns for the Lions during the 1933 season. Ennis was unscored on through the fifth game of the season, and had scored 144 points against their opponents. But in the sixth game against State Home in Corsicana, they were scored on, and defeated 12 to 6. This was their only loss, and they finished the season in second place in District 17-B behind State Home. At the end of the season, the Lions had scored 233 points to their opponents 26. Brooks Conover was head coach, and Ricks and Lummus were all-district selections. Ricks was a senior and Lummus a junior. 

Charles Ricks enrolled at Texas Military College at Terrell, a two-year junior college, in September of 1934 on an athletic scholarship. Lummus missed his senior year at Ennis Hi because of illness. T.M.C. had a high school department, which allowed Lummus to graduate high school, and play junior college athletics. He joined Ricks at T.M.C. in September of 1935. They were an outstanding passing and receiving duo for T.M.C. in 1935. Lummus was left end, and an All-Central Texas Conference selection. 

Zebbie Howell was mayor of Ennis in 1933, and in 1934-35 and 1935-36 he was head coach and athletic director at T.M.C. His assistant was Henry Parma of Ennis. He offered athletic scholarships to a number of the Ennis players during his two school years at T.M.C. 

Following T.M.C. Ricks attended Texas A & M College at College Station, and graduated North Texas State Teachers College at Denton. Before enlisting in the army, he was a teacher and football coach. 

Captain Charles L. “Curly” Ricks, Jr. was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with palms, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters. 

He is listed on the Memorial Monument to Ennis War Dead and the Ellis County Veterans Memorial.

Jack Lummus Memorial Park   Ellis County Veterans Memorial

Picture and bio information are the courtesy of Perry Giles, Giles Monument Company, Waxahachie, Texas, and the Ennis Daily News, Ennis, Texas.

Back to top

Click the <Back> arrow to return to the previous page.

© 1999-2006 Utility Press Inc. All rights reserved.