copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012-2024 Website hosting courtesy of - a company
Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War II
Name: Paul Sheldon Curry Rank: Lieutenant Service Number: 11998093 (at enlistment) Service: Sioux City Army Airbase, United States Army Air Force Date of Birth: March 18, 1921 Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts Date of Enlistment: May 9, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Unknown Address at Enlistment: Milton, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 21 Occupation: RCAF pilot (at enlistment) Marital Status: Single (at enlistment) Next of Kin: George Howard Curry (Father) Date of Death: December 8, 1944 Age: 23 Cemetery: Ridgewood Cemetery, North Andover, Massachusetts Paul Sheldon Curry was the son of George Howard Curry (1892–1984) and Abbie Lee Goudey Curry (1900–1991). Both his parents were born in Port Maitland, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Paul had a sister Abbie Irene Curry (1923–2014) and Bertha H. Curry (1932–2008). Paul’s father served Canada in the First World War enlisting April 20, 1917, in Sussex, New Brunswick, and serving with the No. 2 New Brunswick Forestry Company and No. 7 Canadian Engineers Depot, of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. He was discharged on December 6, 1918. In 1935, Paul’s father bought a farm adjacent to his mother’s parents, Mr. Lemuel C. and Mrs. Annie Irene (Corning) Goudey in Port Maitland and there is also record of Paul travelling from the US to visit the family in Yarmouth Co., NS, in 1938 and 1939. The farm was likely a summer home for Paul’s parents and their children when visiting from the US. Paul enlisted in the USAAF in May of 1942 at the rank of Staff Sergeant. He had previously served and flown with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Many Americans served with the RAF and RCAF during WWII, enlisting between 1939 and 1942, prior to the United States entering the war. With the enactment of lend-lease legislation in March 1941, the American government made it easier for its citizens to join the RCAF by treating the enlistment of its citizens in Canadian forces as part of its aid policy and exempting such recruits from its own military draft. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the subsequent American build-up, in excess of 1750 RCAF-Americans transferred to the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) from May – June 1942. Another approximate 2000 airmen transferred in 1943, and roughly 5100 remained in the RCAF to fulfill their terms of service. Paul was in the initial wave of Americans who transferred from the RCAF to the USAAF in May 1942. Paul married A. Joyce Crowell on September 21, 1942, in Florida. The two had a daughter, Donna Curry (1943- 2016), born July 16, 1943, in Panama City, Florida. Lieutenant Paul Sheldon Curry, piloting a training flight, was killed in a mid-air collision with a second Lockheed Hudson AT-18 medium bomber aircraft (reconfigured as “flying classrooms”) in Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota. Ten died in the incident. Three crewman and four students onboard, and three students in barracks below were killed. A combination of overcast skies and the fact that the aircraft were painted silver gray, is believed to have led to the tragedy. Known as "hot ships," the AT-18’s cruised at 190 mph. Witnesses saw a plane rocket out of a cloud bank at high speed and clip the tail assembly of a second plane. Lost along with Paul were the following nine airmen: Staff Sergeant James D. Simmons, 26, of Illinois Corporal Frank M. Bogdan, 18, of Pennsylvania Corporal Thomas Francis Hart, Jr., 26, of Massachusetts Private First Class Orville J Spellman, 21, of Ohio Private Richard J. Barber, 18, of Illinois Private Edward M. Gregory, 18, of Tennessee Private Kent R. Rhodes, 20, of Kansas Private Floyd Ray Terral, 24, of Louisiana In the second plane, pilot Willard Woody of North Carolina skillfully avoided further tragedy by flying north. Maintaining altitude while the six airmen on board bailed out, Woody also parachuted to safety before his disabled plane crashed east of Renner. All seven men from the second aircraft survived. Paul Sheldon Curry is remembered on the family headstone at the Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is also memorialised on the Forgotten Heroes in Memorial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota as well as the Midair Collision Memorial in Sioux Falls.
Paul Sheldon Curry
Return To Links