Last Known Activity He was credited with destroying 17 enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He was killed in a plane crash in Pinellas, FL. A bridge on US Highway 11 over the Hiwassee River is named for him. The bridge is between Charleston, TN, his home town, and Calhoun, TN and is very near where he is buried in the Calhoun Community Cemetery.
Synopsis of his Silver Star citation: Awarded for actions during World War II
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: James S. Varnell, Jr., United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the FIFTEENTH Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Action during World War II.
General Orders: Headquarters, 15th Air Force, General Orders No. 2341 (1944)