Birth Name: Born Rufus Turner Ates, his name was changed by adding the letter “Y” at the beginning of his last name. By the request of an official shortly after enlisting in World War II, at the end of a roll call, Mr. Yates was told that there was no such last name as Ates which he was given at birth. He never pursued changing his last name back to his original birth name of Ates. At family reunion gatherings, there is much humor and fanfare about the division of the families between Yates’ and Ates’ that never seem to settle.
Military Duty: He willingly enlisted in the Army in 1942 during World War II shortly after the Japanese bombed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Military Rank: Private/Sergeant (Non-Commissioned Officer)
Term of Enlistment: His enlistment was for the duration of WWII and an additional six months. This was done under the discretion of the President of the United States.
Membership: Freewill Mason
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Family: Son of the late Robert Ates and Mary Jane Singletary; married Essie Bell Allen, who preceded him in death; children: Robert, Mervin, James, Bobby, Barbara, Vernell, Layfayette, Jeanell, Larry and Andre.
Burial Place: He passed at the ripe age of 84 years old. A graveside service was held with a 21 gun salute when he was laid to rest in a National Military Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN. Once again, he was amongst many of his fellow comrades who fought for this great county, the United States of America.