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Remembering World War II
Name: John Hilton Starr Rank: Sergeant Service Number: 11020491 Service: Headquarters Squadron, 34th Bomb Group, United States Army Air Force Date of Birth: March 11, 1921 Place of Birth: Port Williams, Kings County, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: October 1, 1940 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 19 Occupation: auto manufacturing Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Carl Starr (Father) Date of Death: May 5, 1942 Age: 21 Cemetery: Westlawn Cemetery, Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Reference: Section 3, Lot 334, Grave 1 John Hilton Starr was the son of Carl Richmond Starr (1893–1951), and Ella Child (Pitt) Starr Hamon (1891–1973). His siblings were Ruth Allison Starr (1919–2012), and Lois Starr (1931–1995). John’s mother was born in Hamilton, Bermuda. His father was born in Starrs Point, Kings Co., NS. The family immigrated to the United States in 1928, aboard the SS North Land of the Eastern Steamship Lines (operated under the subsidiary Boston & Yarmouth Steamship Company, also known as the Yarmouth Line) from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Boston, Mass. After John enlisted in October of 1940, he was eventually assigned to the Headquarters Squadron of the 34th Bomb Group of the USAAF during the Second World War. He was stationed at Pendleton Field in Umatilla County, Oregon in 1942. Sergeant John Hilton Starr was involved in the crash of his B-17E Flying Fortress heavy bomber (#41-2565) with an 8-man crew aboard on May 3, 1942, approximately 20 miles from the base. The aircraft hit a wooded ridge in the Blue Mountains on its return to Pendleton from Las Vegas, Nevada. Amazingly, there was one survivor. Technical Sergeant Wesley E. Wallace of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, survived the crash without losing consciousness. A local woodcutter, Robert L. Bowman found Wallace wandering dazedly in the woods. They made their way back to the crash and found John Starr wounded, propped him as comfortably as they could and made their way through 2-3 miles of forest to a highway and told a motorist of the tragedy. Wallace could not explain a cause of the crash, just that the aircraft was losing altitude to prepare for landing at Pendleton. Rescue crews from the Pendleton army air base were directed to location of the crash, where John was unconscious and in a critical condition from a spinal injury. He succumbed to his injuries the following day, May 5, 1942, at the field hospital at Pendleton Field. The six airmen that were killed in the initial crash were: First Lieutenant Joseph T. H. Laycock, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pilot, (headquarters Squadron Commander) Second Lieutenant James M. Brown, Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, co-pilot Sergeant William A. Forrest, Salisburg, North Carolina Staff Sergeant Harry G. Cameron, Medford, Massachusetts Staff Sergeant Richard L. Carmichael, Waynewood, Pennsylvania Corp. Chester A. Nowak, Alpena, Michigan Sergeant John Hilton Starr’s body was returned to his state of residence prior to the war, and he was interred at the Westlawn Cemetery in Littleton, Middlesex Co., Mass, and is also remembered on the Little War Memorial.
John Hilton Starr
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