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Remembering World War II
Name: Clarence Leroy ‘Lloyd’ Wentzell Rank: Technical Sergeant Service Number: 31117776 Service: 326th Bomber Squadron, 92nd Bomber Group 8th Air Force, United States Army Air Force Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart Date of Birth: March 16, 1919 Place of Birth: Nineveh, Lunenburg Co., Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: July 14, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Portland, Cumberland Co., Maine Address at Enlistment: Saco, York Co., Maine Age at Enlistment: 23 Height: 5 feet, 7 inches Occupation: Textile manufacturing Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Mrs. Wentzell, mother Date of Death: November 26, 1943 Age: 24 Cemetery: Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands Grave: Tablets of the Missing Clarence Leroy Wentzell was the son of Lloyd Clarence Wentzell (1894–1930) and Lydia M (Crouse) Wentzell (1898–1964). His mother was born in Nineveh, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. His father was born in Bridgewater in Queen’s County, NS. Born Clarence Leroy Wentzell, it appears Clarence later adopted the middle name Lloyd (his father’s middle name). The family lived in Nineveh when Clarence was born. In 1921, they moved to Hemford, NS - 5 kilometers north of Nineveh, before immigrating to the United States in 1923. Clarence had two sisters Rose Violet (Wentzell) Bowden (1914–1966) and Irene Nellie Wentzell (1921–2001). In 1940, Clarence, his mother, his sisters Rose and Irene, and Rose’s son Everett Bowden were all living at 28 Fairfield Street in Saco. Clarence was working as a textile operative at the York Manufacturing Company in York. His position, also known as a bobbin boy, was in a cotton mill where his mother as a cloth inspector (A bobbin boy worked in a textile mill and would bring bobbins to the people at the looms when they called for them, and collected the full bobbins of spun cotton or wool thread. They also would be expected to fix minor problems with the machines). After enlisting in July of 1942, Clarence was assigned to the 326th Bomber Squadron, 92nd Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force in Europe. Between May 1943 and February 1944, the 92nd Bomber Group which was nicknamed 'Fame's Favoured Few', mainly flew missions attacking strategic targets across occupied Europe. Clarence served as Radio Operator Gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress bomber #4230608 on November 26, 1943, flying from an air base in England on a mission over Bremen, Germany. His aircraft was shot down that day and crashed into North Sea. His body was never recovered. The other crew killed with the loss of B-17 #4230608 were as follows: Staff Sergeant Grady H. Gwinn (Service No. 14150385), Ball Turret Gunner, was born in Adger, Alabama, and entered the service from Alabama. Second Lieutenant Robert E. Hamm (Service No. O-681538), Bombardier, was born in Buffalo, New York and entered the service from NY. Second Lieutenant Theodore Rasmus Hansen (Service No. O-746329), Co- Pilot, was the son Theodore Hansen and Olga (Petersen) Hansen, and husband of Alice M. (Miner) Hansen. He was born June 18, 1916, in Chicago, Illinois, and entered the service from Illinois. Staff Sergeant David W. Hurley (Service No. 34266402), Right Waist Gunner, was born in Anniston, Alabama. Second Lieutenant Joseph H. Joffe (Service No. O-749434), Navigator, was born in Union City, New Jersey, and entered the service form NJ. Staff Sergeant William H. Langford (Service No. 18131469), Tail Gunner, was born in Kenefic, Oklahoma, and entered the service from Oklahoma. Technical Sergeant Paul D. Magness (Service No. 37185344), Top Turret Gunner, entered the service from Missouri. Staff Sergeant Irenee Plante, Left Waist Gunner, was born in Canada like Clarence, the son of Prisque Plante and Rose Anna (Vallée) Plante. He was born January 22, 1918, in Thetford Mines, Quebec and lived in Sanford, York, Maine prior to the war. Second Lieutenant Truman Andrews Shannon (Service No. O-733737), Pilot, was the son of Maurice Lorenzo Shannon and Ethel Belle (Andrews) Shannon. He was born Aug 15, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois, lived in Pennsylvania prior to the war and entered the service from Pennsylvania. Technical Sergeant Clarence L Wentzell is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. The cemetery's tall memorial tower can be seen before reaching the site, which covers 65.5 acres. From the cemetery entrance visitors are led to the Court of Honor with its pool reflecting the tower. At the base of the tower facing the reflecting pool is a statue representing women who have suffered loss. Since 1945, the cemetery has had a special relationship with the Dutch people. Many bring flowers, some adopt the graves of those who are buried here. This is their gesture of lasting thanks to the Americans who fought to liberate the Netherlands.
Clarence Leroy Wentzell
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The USAAF roundel, the 8th Air Force shield and the 92nd Bomber Group’s insignia with their motto, “Higher, Stronger, Faster