Mar. 16, 1916 West Frankfort Franklin County Illinois, USA
May 12, 1944, Italy
Lt. Cornelius' Bomber Collided with Another
Details of the last flight, a daylight bombing mission over Porte San Stefano, Italy, of Lt. Cornelius, who has been missing in action since May 12, when his B-24 failed to return are contained in a letter received by Lt. Cornelius' wife, Mrs. Beatrice Cornelius of Chicago, from the commanding officer of the 15th Air Force, Major General N. F. Twining. The letter states in part: "Shortly after leaving the target area another B-24, apparently hit by flak, went out of control and collided with Will's ship. The collision forced his plane into a steep glide and it is believed to have made a water landing offshore from Pt. Treciana, Italy. It is possible that some or all of the crew were able to reach the Italian mainland safely and are now prisoners of war, but to date we have had no conformation." Lt. Cornelius is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ira M. Cornelius, 701 East Diggins street.
A Memorial stone was placed at Mt Auburn Cemetery, Harvard, McHenry, Illinois in his memory.