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Remembering World War II
Name: Weymouth Crowell, Jr Rank: Captain Service Number: At Enlistment: 19077133, as an Officer: O-740756 Service: 448th Bombardment Squadron, 321st Bombardment Group, 57th Bombardment Wing, 12th Air Force, USAAF Awards: Purple Heart, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Silver Star Date of Birth: November 6, 1918 Place of Birth: Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., California Date of Enlistment: March 12, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Portland, Oregon Address at Enlistment: Grande Ronde, Yamhill County, Oregon Age at Enlistment: 23 Height: 5 feet, 10 inches Occupation: Animal and livestock farmer Marital Status: Married Next of Kin: Carmen Crowell, wife Date of Death: April 17, 1944 Age: 25 Cemetery: Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo Co., California Grave: Section F, Site 51 Weymouth Crowell, Jr was the son of Weymouth Crowell, Sr (1864-1952) and Ethel May (Ryder) Crowell (1874-1952). Both parents were born in Argyle in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Weymouth Sr moved to Los Angeles in 1884 where he chopped wood for stoves, and moved to Seattle in 1889 where he built the Minor School and many private residences. He married Ethel in Argyle on March 2, 1892. Upon his return to Los Angeles from Seattle, he built the Angelus hotel, noted as the first seven-story structure in the city. In 1908, Crowell, a relatively wealthy industrialist at that point, built the Long Beach Public Library and in the early 1920's he purchased 25,000 acres of land in the Pacific Northwest where he ran cattle and built two ranches, including the Crowell Ranch in Grande Ronde, Yamhill County, Oregon. Weymouth Jr’s siblings were Harold Ryder Crowell (1893–1978), Ethel Mae Crowell Edel (1894–1951), Willard W. Crowell (1896–1963), Florence A. Crowell Lacy (1898–1985), Andrew Edward Crowell (1900–1972), Rachel E. Crowell Meyer (1905–1978), and Katherine M. Crowell Hinman (1909–1998). His brother Harold served with American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Italy during the First World War from September 1917 until February 1919. Willard also served as a Private in the AEF with E Company of the 25th Engineers. By 1935, Weymouth was living and working as a rancher on the family Crowell Ranch in Grand Ronde, Oregon. He married Carmen Grace Hodson on January 21, 1940, in Willemina, Yamhill County. Carmen was born in Newburg, Oregon and living in Willemina. Weymouth registered for the US Draft October 16, 1940, in McMinnville, Oregon. He enlisted in the Air Corps in March of 1942 and served with the 448th Bombardment Squadron of the 321st Bombardment Group, 57th Bombardment Wing in the 12th Air Force of the United States Army Air Force. The 448th operated from bases in the Mediterranean Sea. In April 1944, they were flying from Gaudo Airfield in Southern Italy. On April 17, 1944, his aircraft #42-64655, a B-25C, was assigned to take part in a bombing raid on the Attigliano railway bridge in Italy. Crowell held the position of Flight Leader (pilot of the lead aircraft for the 27 plane mission). Around the target, flak was intense and persistent. Captain Weymouth Crowell was killed in action, along with 5 others of the seven man crew, when #42-64655 was shot down. After completing the bomb run, the aircraft was struck in the tail by a flak burst. The tail assembly separated from the aircraft, the aircraft attempted to climb, and then fell off into an inverted spin. Captain Crowell managed to bring it right side up again and hold it steady for two of his crew members to parachute out. Another flak burst hit the navigator's compartment, and the aircraft crashed several miles north of the target. There were only two survivors from their bomber. The navigator, Lieutenant William S. Hough, and the co- pilot, Second Lieutenant Floyd A. Elliott, who recounted what happened (he became a POW at Stalag Luft 3 for the remainder of the war). The second survivor, Lt. William Hough evaded capture by the enemy with the help of local partisans and returned to his unit in June or July 1944. Of the seven-man crew, the four who were lost were: Second Lieutenant Alfred W. Kruetz Bombardier Staff Sergeant Joseph M. Johnson Engineer Staff Sergeant Charles W. Duss, Jr Radio Operator Staff Sergeant Herbert J. Graham Tail Gunner Weymouth Crowell was initially interred in Italy and his body was returned to the United States at the request of his family where he was interred in common grave with Alfred W. Kreutz at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, San Mateo Co., California.
Weymouth Crowell, Jr.
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Sources The Long Trail Home, Allied Prisoners in Umbria 1943-44, by Janet Kinrade Dethick, 2012, page 58 findagrave airforce.togetherweserved veterans.oregonstate