May 26, 2010 1:39:00 PM
STARKVILLE - An expert on U.S. military history will speak Thursday morning at the Starkville Sportsplex as part of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum''s "Our Community" series.
Winona native William "Bill" Lee will discuss World War II and the German submarines that made it to the Gulf of Mexico, Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum volunteer Bill Poe said.
During 1942 and 1943, more than 20 U-boats operated in the Gulf of Mexico. They attacked tankers transporting oil from ports in Texas and Louisiana, successfully sinking 56 vessels.
"It''s something that not many people know about, that the war came that close to our country," Poe said.
Lee, who serves as commander of the Mississippi State Guard with a rank of brigadier general, will begin his talk Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the Sportsplex multi-purpose building.
Lee served six years with the 31st Dixie Division in the Mississippi National Guard with B Battery, 114th Field Artillery Battalion in Winona. He completed his enlistment with the 210th Finance Company and is a member of the Mississippi Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Lee also is past chairman of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and twice served as president of the Jackson Touchdown Club.
Additionally, Lee serves as senior vice president of Gulf Guaranty Life Insurance Company, where he has worked for 29 years.