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Remembering World War II
Donald Cecil McLeod Westhaver
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Name: Donald Cecil McLeod Westhaver Rank: Second Lieutenant Service Number: O-524254 Service: United States Army Air Force Date of Birth: June 14, 1920 Place of Birth: Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: July 19, 1939 Place of Enlistment: Unknown Address at Enlistment: Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 19 Occupation: Unknown Marital Status: Single at enlistment Next of Kin: Mrs. Edna Westhaver (Mother) Date of Death: February 25, 1944 Age: 23 Cemetery: Woodlawn Cemetery, Wellesley, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Donald Cecil McLeod Westhaver was the son of Clayton McLeod Westhaver (1892-1945) and Edna Jean (Urquhart) Westhaver (1892–1972). His father was born in Martins Brook, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. His mother was born on Tancook Island, Lunenburg Co., NS. Donald married Margie Ellen Backus (1925–2021) in 1943. After enlisting in the US Army Air Force in 1939, Donald was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1940, and was there at the time of the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. His brother John McLeod Westhaver was also at Pearl and was wounded during the enemy attack on the Islands. Three years later, while stationed at the Las Vegas Army Airfield in Nevada, Second Lieutenant Cecil Westhaver, pilot, was killed aboard US Army Air Corps B-17G Flying Fortress #42-31324 in a mid-air collision with an AT-6 Texan trainer aircraft, fifteen miles north-west of the Vegas airfield. Ten other airmen aboard the Donald’s B-17 perished. They were: Second Lieutenant Court B Lake Co-Pilot Staff Sergeant Robert T King Flight Engineer Staff Sergeant Ralph E Warford Gunnery Instructor Private First Class Peter Merich Jr student gunner Sergeant Richard H Miner student gunner Sergeant Joseph F Triscori student gunner Private First Class Lavern R Freeland student gunner Private George O Patterson student gunner Private Robert E L Patterson student gunner Private Leonard G Patterson student gunner The tail gunner on the B-17, who was trapped in his compartment when the tail section was severed off, survived the fall to earth. The pilot of the other aircraft involved (the AT-6 Texan #41-15967), Carlton H Kleiser, was killed by the collision. Both Donald’s father Clayton McLeod Westhaver and brother John McLeod Westhaver died in the Pacific when their transport aircraft crashed at Makinato air strip on Okinawa on October 7, 1945.
Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) February 27, 1944
High School Yearbook Photo