Private James Cosby Atchley was born on June 2, 1924 in Knoxville. He was the son of Cosby and Carrie Fair Atchley. He had one sister, Frances Atchley. Prior to joining the military, he worked as a driller. He enlisted in the military on May 21, 1943 in Camp Forrest, Tennessee. He served in the Pacific theater of the war and died on Luzon Island, Philippines on May 10, 1945. His death is listed as died non-battle.

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