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Remembering World War II
Name: Elroy Frank Wyman Rank: Second Lieutenant Service Number: 11025521 Service: 565th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group, United States Army Air Force Awards: Air Medal Date of Birth: September 28, 1921 Place of Birth: North Berwick, York County, Maine Date of Enlistment: May 4, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Camp Langdon, Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Age at Enlistment: 20 Address at Enlistment: North Berwick, York County, Maine Occupation: Sawmill worker Marital Status: Single Date of Death: March 18, 1945 Age: 23 Cemetery: Hillside Cemetery, North Berwick, York County, Maine Elroy Frank Wyman was the son of Melville James Wyman (1878–1968) and Isabelle C (Blakeley) Wyman (1878–1971), and the brother of Clifton M Wyman, Ruth I (Wyman) Ormsby (1908–1996), Bernard A Wyman, Eula Mae (Wyman) Quint (1914–2015), Eula M Wyman, and Frances L Wyman. Elroy’s father was born in Mattawamkeag, Penobscot County, Maine, and his mother was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His father worked as a signalman for the railroad in Maine. After enlisting in the US Army Air Force in May of 1942, Elroy was assigned to the 565th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group which operated in the European Theatre during the Second World War. He was the navigator aboard B-24J Liberator heavy bomber #42-100352 (known as ‘Swamp Angel’) when it was shot down after releasing its payload on a bombing mission on February 20, 1944, during Operation Big Week, a week of concentrated attack on German aircraft industries. Elroy was taken prisoner and was held at Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany. He was shot by a camp guard at Stalag Luft I when he stepped out of the door of camp barracks during an air raid when prisoners were to remain inside. It is not known if the soldier was ever charged with war crimes. United Nations Archives record that, “On or about 17 March 45, at 1130 hrs, 2nd Lt. Elroy Frank Wyman left his blockhouse and began to walk across the compound. When he had walked a short distance, he realized that an air alert was in progress. He turned around and retraced his steps at a slow trot. Just as he reached the entrance to his blockhouse, he was shot and killed, without warning by Obegefreiter (Private) Emil Buhler, the German guard on duty at that time.” The case number of the UN war crimes commission is file 1628: case 11 of US vs Germany. It is not known if the case came to trial. The other 9 crew of B-24J #42-100352 were: Service No. Rank, name, position, age at the time of the crash, and place of birth 17154409 Staff Sergeant William Merrill Anderson, Tail Turret Gunner, age 24 (1920-1945) Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota 15200535 Staff Sergeant Charles ‘Bud’ Conner Barlion, Left Waist Gunner, age 22 (1922-1953) Born in Cincinnati, Ohio 15097281 Staff Sergeant Teamus Bowling, Ball Turret Gunner, age 20 (1923-1997) Born in Weeksbury, Floyd Co., Kentucky O-676470 Second Lieutenant Harold ‘Harry’ Leonard Gnong, Bombardier, age 23 (1921-2014) of Quincy & Abington, MA 38182062 Staff Sergeant William L. Grimmer, Right Waist Gunner, age 22 (1921-2017) Born in Hitchland, Texas 38114773 Staff Sergeant Robert Henry Hunt (1921-1999), Flight Engineer / Top Turret, age 22 (1921-1999) Born in Sinton, Texas O-533672 Second Lieutenant Lorimer Peterson, Co-Pilot, age 20 (1923-1974) Born in Utah 33290882 Technical Sergeant George J Shady, Radio Operator, Mechanic Gunner, age 22 (1921- 2006) Born in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania O-672920 Second Lieutenant Robert J Wozniak, Pilot, age 22 (1922-2007) Born in Chicago, Illinois All the crew were taken prisoner except for Anderson who was killed. He is interred at the Netherlands American Cemetery (Plot D, Row 10, Grave 12). All the other crew, except for Anderson and Wyman, survived the war and made it home. Elroy was first interred at the Barth-Vogelsang City Cemetery on March 23, 1945. Elroy’s Pilot, Robert Wozniak was present at the funeral. After hostilities ceased, Elroy’s body was recovered and reinterred at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium (Plot BB, Row 7, Grave 161). His family chose to repatriate his remains and he was once again reinterred in his final resting place at the Hillside Cemetery in North Berwick, York County, Maine, in 1949. Elroy’s Air Medal Citation reads: “For extraordinary achievement in aerial flight. He, as a crew member of a bombardment type aircraft, participated in 15 strike sorties against the enemy. Throughout these combat operations he displayed high professional skill, courage, and devotion to duty which exemplifies the highest traditions of Army Air Forces.”
Elroy Frank Wyman
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The 8th Air Force, 565th Bomb Squadron, and 389th Bomb Group insignias