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Wilhelm Henry Watermann
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Birth: Jun. 20, 1924
Fillmore County
Nebraska, USA
Death: Jan. 9, 1944, South Africa

obituary; 1944
Memorial services for William Henry Watermann, second class petty officer, United States Navy Aviation radio man, who was killed in a plane crash while in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country, were held at the St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ohiowa Sunday evening January 16, 1944, at 7:30 o'clock. Relatives and friends filled the church to capacity for the rites. Floral tributes, expressing silent esteem for the youth were arranged at the front of the church. The chief floral place was a wreath embedded with flowers, on the lower part of which was the name of William on satin ribbon, Above was a picture of him in uniform. The wreath was displayed on an easel. Home folks were the contributors. Other floral tributes were the American Legion and Auxiliary. District 40 of Ohiowa, Farmers Union and Dr. and Mrs. Delfs of Geneva. Rev. H. J. Dekhoff officiated . The church choir furnished the music and Mrs. Wesley Cradduck was at the piano. The service opened with the processional led by the choir and pastor, followed by the America Legion. The regular order of service was carried out with scripture reading, invocation and singing. A very appropriate sermon message was given . It came from the heart as the speaker has two sons in service and was bearing with these broken hearted members and close friends, their recent sorrow. The choir gave two specials, one in the German ;language, " Ao Nim Dem Meina Henda" and " What Will It Be'. The benediction was given at the close of the service. William Henry Watermann, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Watermann Sr., was born June 20, 1924, at Ohiowa, Neb. He was baptized by Rev. W. F. V. Churchill. William entered the Ohiowa public school for his education and was an apt pupil from the primary to his senior year in high school, graduating with honors in May, 1941. Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack his enthusiasm to enlist in service became greater. He revealed his desire to his mother who naturally, tried to withhold him because of his youth. At the time of William's enlistment in 1941 he was one of the youngest enlistees in the navy. He was stationed at San Diego, Cal., then sent to Seattle, Wash., for schooling, where he attained his first promotion or rank. At Alanda, Cal., William held a responsible position that required long hours of duty. It was a dangerous position that many a youth would not undertake, but he carried on courageously. From Alanda he was sent to west Virginia, later to Rhode Island , where he became quite ill and was isolated in a hospital. Regaining his strength, his last station was abroad, but his location cannot be divulged. Mr. and Mrs. Chris Rathjen received from the navy department January 12, 1944, a telegram which brought word that William was killed in a plane crash. Mr. Rathjen is William's step-father, who loved him as his own son, the two working together at home before William's enlistment. Besides his mother and step-father, William leaves three sisters, Clara Ann, Roberta and Helen, and a brother Robert, several uncles and aunts at Chicago and hosts of other relatives. The relatives at Chicago regretted they could not be present at the memorial service, nor was there time after the receipt of the telegram to send a floral tribute for the service. But there was keen sympathy for their sister and family in their loss. William's last promotion was December 1, 1943, from third class petty officer to second class. William, after his enlistment December 10, 1941, never was home on leave, travel or furlough, but in March, 1943, when his company was being sent from the west coast to the east home folks met him at Omaha. Mrs. Rathjen traveled with her son as far as Chicago for a visit that shall never be erased from her memory. It was the last the two were together. His letter home always had a cheerful note. He wrote home folks all about the Christmas a couple of days following the holiday. William enlisted with a determination to win and kept that spirit throughout his service , feeling that every lad at home should enlist if possible . He was inspired by the service, which made his life much more pleasant and satisfactory and he wanted his pals at home to have the same opportunity. If he achieved any success, which home folks and friends are reconciled he did, we know he felt he owed it to his country, home and to God to give his life, a hero, that we might live in freedom. The floral tributes were placed on the grave of William's father, Fred Watermann Sr., Monday, except the home piece witch will be preserved in memory of William.
Family links: 
  Friedrich Watermann (1852 - 1934)
  Marie Anne Hendler Rathjen (1899 - 1992)
  Wilhelm Henry Watermann (1924 - 1944)
  Robert Eugene Rathjen (1938 - ____)**
*Calculated relationship
Ohiowa Cemetery
Fillmore County
Nebraska, USA
Maintained by: Dan Smith
Originally Created by: RobMinteer57
Record added: Jun 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91886752
Wilhelm Henry Watermann
Added by: Corinna Harvey-Burton
Wilhelm Henry Watermann
Added by: Corinna Harvey-Burton
Wilhelm Henry Watermann
Added by: Corinna Harvey-Burton
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Thank you for my Freedom!
- Loren Bender
 Added: Jul. 5, 2013

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