Compiled by Thelma Faye Cain Prince, © Copyright 1998


363 THELMA FAYE 7 CAIN (Verda 6, Thomas W. 5, Wm. Benj. 4, Wiley 3, William 2, Richard), born 22 February 1932, in Gwinnett County, Georgia. I married WILLIAM LOUIS PRINCE (b. 13 July 1919, Hillside, Union Co. N.J.; d. 3 December 1998, Middlesex County, New Jersey), son of Sarah Agnes Reilly and Joseph Thomas Knight, on 8 November 1953, Atlanta. See Cain, Prince, and Knight families in my book Our Southern Ancestors, 1985.   Also see John Manning Cain family and The Thomas Knight Family of Essex and Union Counties, NJ, accessible from the home page.

William L. Prince and Thelma Faye Cain were married 8 November 1953 in Sylvan Hills Baptist Church, Melrose Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, ceremony performed by Rev. Alvin Brackett, Jr. Best man was Clinton Hamilton, a cousin of the bride, and maid of honor was Betty Jean Waters, friend and roommate of the bride in nursing school. Ushers were Arthur Zegel, a close friend, and Edward Milton Hamilton, a cousin of the bride. About thirty-five close friends and relatives attended the wedding held at three o'clock on a Sunday afternoon.

Sarah Agnes Knight, William Prince, 
Faye Prince, Verda Cain
8 November 1953

Bill and Faye left Georgia the next morning for the trip to New Jersey, and we made our home in Middlesex County, Old Bridge Township, for 45 years, where Faye continues to live.

When Bill was christened on 19 August 1919 in St. Catherine's R.C. Church his sponsors were his uncle, John Reilly and Mary Peters. The priest was J.C. McClary. William is known to everyone as "Bill". He was born in Hillside, NJ at #30 Avy St on 13 July 1919. His name at birth was William Louis Knight (birth certicate #716, Trenton, NJ).  His natural parents were Sarah Agnes Reilly and Joseph Thomas Knight.

Bill was raised by his father's sister, Helen Marie Knight and her husband, William Louis Prince (1882-1943), and Bill took their surname Prince when he was about five years old. The Princes lived at #30 Avy St and were very close to the Knights. Bill was sickly as a child, and was told that the Princes were better off financially and wanted to take care of him. Helen had a daughter, Helen, much older than Bill, who married Norman Govette but she and William Prince had no children of their own.

Bill Prince at age 9

For a short period when Bill was a teenager he worked for the Civil Conservation Corp, the CCC's, working on farms and digging ditches. The work was varied, doing whatever was needed; this program was set up by the Federal Government.

He began work at Welin-Davit, Perth Amboy, NJ, in 1942 as an assembler and riveter making davits for lifeboats. He joined the army in spring of 1943, went overseas and came back to the U.S. in the fall of 1944, spent a year in the hospital recovering from wounds received in action around Anzio. After discharge from the army in the fall of 1945, he resumed work at Welin-Davit and stayed there until 1961 when he started work for Old Bridge Township Roads and Sanitation Department as a laborer and truck driver. He retired in 1984.

JUNE 1994

"I was inducted into the army on March 25, 1943 at Newark, NJ. I had my basic training at Camp Croft, Spartenburg, S.C. I had advanced training at Camp Swift in Austin, Tx. Date of departure to Oran, Algeria, North Africa, was September 13 by a liberty ship named "John Brown." We arrived there October 6, 1943, stayed there briefly then went to Bizerte, Tunisia on the "Forty and Eight" train. From Bizerte we went by transport ship to Naples where we bivouacked at a racetrack which was the replacement depot of manpower.

I was a rifleman #745 in Company L, 179th Infantry, 45th Division of the Fifth Army. My outfit landed on Anzio Beachead between January 23rd and February 1, 1944. I was not in the first landing on January 21-22nd. We went from Naples to Anzio by ship and marched off the ship up through the town and joined the lines already formed, digging right into foxholes, because shelling and bombing were going on constantly.

I lived in a foxhole and slept in it most of the time. I washed with water put into my helmet, ate c-rations (canned beef) and k-rations. There was an abandoned house there, but it was too dangerous for us to go into it because the enemy bombed buildings. It was extremely rainy winter and mud was up to your knees everywhere, making it difficult to manuever around.

On February 18, 1944, I was walking down the road when a shell exploded near me. I proceeded to the evacuation hospital by myself and was treated for a perforated eardrum. I ate supper at the evacuation hospital and right afterwards the Germans shelled the kitchen. It was repaired later. This hospital was near the harbor and the airstrip. I was off duty a couple of days and then sent back to the front lines.

I was made a Private First Class and ordered to set up a scouting outpost, along with one other man, in front of my outfit's lines. I was made the first scout whose duty it was to make sure where the Germans were and to let those behind us know. We tied tin cans up around the outpost which would make noise if anyone approached.

On May 30, 1944, three of our companies were advancing and trying to keep in contact with each other. As first scout, I could see where the Germans were. Unfortunately, one of them spotted me, threw a grenade and I got hit in the left leg (femur) and right arm (humerus), leaving shrapnel in the wounds.

The medics took me back to the Battalion Aid Station for first aid. I was then sent to the evacuation Hospital in Naples for two days, then transferred to the new hospital in Naples where the doctors operated, put a pin in my leg and put my arm and leg in traction.

I left for the US by hospital ship from Naples on September 11, 1944, arriving September 29, 1944. I went to Stark General Hospital in South Carolina for a little while, then to Newton D. Baker Veterans Hospital, Martinsburg, West Virginia. Discharge was given at 1318 SCU Hospital Center, Camp Pickett, Virginia, September 17, 1945."

Bill served in World War II as Private First Class, Co. L, 179th Regt. from 25 March 1943 until 17 September 1945. He was in the Battle at Anzio Beachhead in Italy, and received wounds on 18 February 1944 and 30 May 1944. For treatment, he was sent first to a hospital in Naples, and then he spent a year at Newton D. Baker Veterans Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, recuperating from severe wounds of the right leg and left arm received at the Battle of Anzio 30 May 1944.

In July 1975, Bill and I visited the American Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy. Many of those buried there fought at Anzio and environs. Our daughter, Carolyn and I visited it in 1990. It was a very moving experience to see the graves of his comrades in service. Bill held the following medals and awards for his military service: Purple Heart with two bronze oak leaf clusters, Honorable Service Lapel Button, World War II Victory Medal, Bronze Star Medal for bravery in action, Combat Infantryman's Badge [expert rifleman], European African Medal with two bronze stars, Good Conduct Medal.

William Louis Prince


On March 22, 1995 at the National Guard Armory, Lawrenceville, NJ, Colonel Moorman of the U.S. Army awarded to Bill the Distinguished Service Medal of the State of New Jersey. This medal was awarded to him for distinguished meritorous service in ground combat, wounds received as a result of direct combat actions against an armed enemy while serving in the United States Army in the European African Middle Eastern Theater during World War II.

The above awarding of the medal was well attended by his children, grandchildren, brother Joe, sisters-in-law, Jean, Helen, nieces Pat and her husband Robert Wyatt, Lynne and her husband Stan Stires, Kathy and her husband Ed Cooper, Colleen and her three young children, Maryellen, Elizabeth, and Joseph. We all came back home to Faye and Bill's for a nice lunch and were together for the most part of the day. This was especially meaningful that we all got to see and spend time with Joe that day because he died suddenly two days later.

Bill passed away, December 3, 1998,  after a long illness, Parkinson's disease, dementia, diabetes, heart problems, and cancer of the prostate.  The funeral was held on December 5, 1998 at the Michael Hegarty Funeral Home, Route 9, Old Bridge, NJ.  He was interred in Old Tennent Cemetery, Tennent, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

I, Thelma Faye Cain Prince, was born 22 February 1932 in Gwinnett County, Georgia, at home. I was delivered by Dr. Nim Jewell Guthrie, M.D. [Vital Records Service, file #31904-32] . I attended Bethesda School in 1936, and then moved with my parents, Verda Estelle Sorrells and John Rufus Cain, to Atlanta in 1937.

In Atlanta, the first place we lived was at 506 McDonough Boulevard, across the street from the Federal Prison. I went to a school on Milton Avenue for kindergarten and first grade. We then moved to Murphey Avenue, near Ft. MacPherson, where I attended Sylvan Hills grammar school [Click here] for the second and part of the third grade. We lived in the other part of the same house with Cecil and Celia Williford.

We lived on Park Avenue and I went to Grant Park Elementary School [Click Here] for the third through sixth grades. The expressway was constructed in this area, and the house is no longer there. The school's principal at the time I went was Miss Allie Mann, and one of my teachers was Miss Stella Meadow. Both had a great influence on me and gave me self confidence. The whole student body had a great deal of respect for them.

I attended Joseph E. Brown Junior High School [Click Here]for the seventh through ninth grades. We had a Junior Prom when I graduated from the ninth grade in 1947. My sister, Mary Elizabeth, always called Elizabeth, helped me to get ready for it. My mother had made my first long gown, and I felt so grown up.

I attended Girls High for part of the tenth grade in early 1947. In the fall of 1947, I began school at Hapeville High, and I graduated from high school on 5 August 1949. While in high school, I belonged to the National Beta Club, the Poetry Club of Hapeville High, and the Quill & Scroll, a National High School Journalism Society. Courses I took in high school were English grammar and Composition, English literature, Medieval and Modern History, American History, Civics, Algebra, plane geometry, Latin, Spanish, Biology, Home Economics, Music, and Family Relations. My cumulative average for the high school years was 95.

One of the greatest disappointments of my life, up until that time, was that I could not sit with the graduating class for the ceremony in June 1949, because I lacked 1/4 credit. Due to my transfer from Atlanta schools, some of the courses I had taken did not transfer fully to the Hapeville school. Therefore, I had to go to summer school the summer of 1949 to get credit and be able to graduate in 1949 at the end of the summer.

By 1945, we had moved to Hapeville, a suburb south of Atlanta, but I lived with my sister, Elizabeth, and her husband during the week in Atlanta, so I could attend Joe Brown Junior High School and help my sister because she was ill much of the time. It was during this period that I decided to become a nurse when I grew up and help others. I felt useful and lucky, too, because I had been blessed with good health, while Elizabeth had glumerulo- nephritis, an incurable disease at that time. It gave me a good feeling to be able to do something for her in a tangible way.

I was very close to her and used to share with her many of the pains a teenager goes through in growing up. As my confidant, she helped me through many things of that period. I wrote a story while I was living with her, and she read it with the greatest interest in my writing and advised me about it. She was a beautiful, understanding, and inspiring person, and I will always regret she was not with us longer. She died 1 March 1947 in Atlanta at Crawford Long Hospital.

In 1950, we moved back to Atlanta where my mother and I lived with Margie Pearl Sorrells Wofford, my aunt. There I attended Gordon Street Baptist Church, and I was baptized that year. About a year later, I became a member of Sylvan Hills Baptist Church where I was married to William Louis Prince in 1953. At present, I am a member of Sayre Woods Baptist Church in Old Bridge Township, NJ. The name has been changed to Sayre Woods Bible Church.

My oldest and dearest friend is Dorothy Bannister who I met in the seventh grade at Joe Brown Junior High. We both transferred from Girls High to Hapeville High in 1947, and she graduated Hapeville High in June 1949. She was born 11 December 1930 and married Arthur Zegel of New York State in June of 1953. They met at the University of Georgia in Athens where both graduated in 1953. She is like a sister to me. They live in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and have three children, John, Susan, and Robert Zegel, and some grandchildren.

On 23 September 1949, I entered North Georgia College, Dahlonega, Georgia. I earned 54 quarter hours of credit there in the following courses: General Chemistry, Qualitative Analysis, Human Biology, English, Intermediate Algebra, Physical Education, and General Psychology, and History-Contemporary Civilization. I really enjoyed the year of college, and my withdrawal was voluntary because I had no funds for further study.

I made the rounds of nursing schools in Atlanta, and found Crawford W. Long School of Nursing would give me the $200 loan I needed to study nursing. I entered the school 18 September 1950 and completed the program on 8 September 1953 with a diploma in nursing.

While studying at Crawford Long, I took courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Psychology, Sociology, personal hygiene, professional adjustments, nursing, pharmacology, foods and nutrition, diet therapy, Introduction to Medical Science, Medical nursing, communicable diseases, Dermatological nursing, Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat nursing, gynecological nursing, neurological nursing, operating room, orthopedics, tuberculosis nursing, urological nursing, surgical nursing, obstetric nursing, newborns, pediatrics, history of nursing, physical education, drugs and solutions, outpatient nursing, psychiatric nursing and atomic nursing.

Total days in theory (classes): 172; total days in practice (working) 850 and 1/2 (of these, 718 and 1/2 evening shift, 132 night shift). I had 32 major operating room scrubs, and 30 minor operating scrubs, and 30 operating circulating nurse experiences. I had 42 circulates in the Delivery room, and 25 scrubs in the Delivery room. I spent 84 days at the New Jersey State Hospital, Marlboro, clinical psychiatry. Total days of vacation during this program was 84 days. I was ill 2 days out of the 3 years, made 1 day up; 1 day was allowed. I believe the course we had was very complete and helpful, but it was a real grind at the time.

Faye 1953
Faye 1952
Faye 1952
Faye 2004
Faye 2004

On 22 December 1953, I received the grades made on Board of Examiners of Nurses for Georgia Examinations held 20th and 21st of October 1953.

  • Medical Nursing = 96.
  • Surgical Nursing = 86.
  • Obstetric Nursing = 96.
  • Nursing of Children = 92.
  • Communicable diseases=90
  • Psychiatric = 97.
  • On that day, 22 December 1953, the Board of Examiners of Nurses for Georgia granted me license #15953, by examination, to practice as a registered nurse. It was one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received. In February 1954, I was granted license # R 9663, by endorsement, from the New Jersey Board of Nursing to practice nursing as a registered nurse in New Jersey.

    I'll never forget how proud I was to wear the white uniform on duty that first day. It was hard work in school, many times on night duty and then four hours of classes during the day, but I took responsibility and learned how to handle it. I love my work. On 17 June l983, the thirty years reunion of our class was held at Crawford Long Hospital. Twenty-four members of the class I were present. In August 1994, I attended a reunion of all the classes at Crawford Long. There were only seven from our class, but we had a wonderful time.  In August 2003, I attended my 50th nursing school reunion; eight members of my class were there.  They took us on a tour of the hospital now, which is all modern and doing wonderful work, so I can be proud to say, I'm a graduate of the best hospital in the whole United States.

    My nursing class came to Marlboro State Hospital in New Jersey for psychiatric affiliation for 3 months, and Bill and I met through mutual friends on Labor Day in 1952 in the reception room of the nurses' home. That was the beginning of a love that has lasted forty five years.

    Our first home was 247 Garfield Avenue, Laurence Harbor, New Jersey. I worked for Perth Amboy General Hospital for 13 years until December 1966. I worked for Muhlenburg Hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey, from 2 January 1967 until 31 December 1988, when I retired. We moved to our present home in Parlin, New Jersey, on 1 July 1965.   Our children are William Jeffrey Prince and Carolyn Prince Lambert.

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