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Marie searching (#46905280)
 member for 10 years, 1 month, 3 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Hello and how are you?

Please feel free to use the photos we post here at Find a Grave, they are for the family members and loved ones of the memorial that they are posted to.

I am a genealogy nut, please contact me if you think we are researching the same folks.
Or you can view my ancestry here:

Have a Great day!

Marie & Mark

 Contact: Leave Public Message
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Adriana, Helene Lishner, Paul Semones, Rodney Jewett, Susan Wilcomb, VirginiaLambert
Messages left for Marie searching (131)[Leave Message]
Paul Semones
Dr. Willis Dean Wright

Please see the link above for a family tree with photo for the Willis D. Wright who became a respected Omaha doctor, married Dorothy, and served in the Navy from September 1942 through January 1946.

The photo of him bears a perfect resemblance to an adult photo of him on page 6 of the Friday May 1, 1964 Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska).

He was born on June 5, 1905 in Illinois to Charles and Alice Wright, had a sister named Madge, and died March 24, 1987. He had an uncle named Willie Wright.

Many of these facts are supported by searching for "Dr Willis Wright" on Newspapers .com.

Basically everything in 48173178 is wrong. It takes the gravestone photo of Dr. Willis Dean Wright (SSN 508-58-4027) and wife Dorothy, uses the birth/death dates and death location of a Willie D Wright (SSN 401-90-4771), and erroneously attaches as relatives the Harry and Myra clan, whose son died as a POW of the Japanese.

I really hope someone with some ownership of that page can get it cleaned up (I'm new here, and not really sure how editing permissions work yet).

Plus, Dr. Willis Dean Wright looks like he had an amazing life story, and would be worth getting right. And the third man, Willie D. Wright, deserves his own respect as well.
Added by Paul Semones on May 04, 2017 7:28 PM
jane austin
Just checked the AFOA site, and Willis D. and Lawrence are mentioned only as census entries after Myra's remarriage. Hazel and Roscoe are her "Austin children" so they have pages. That's traditionally how this tree works, so I can't say that I'm surprised. So no additional support for either of our arguments there.

Added by jane austin on May 03, 2017 10:33 PM
jane austin
I did look at your tree, Marie. The date of birth I have is correct and confirmed and you don't get many more solid confirmations of death than Social Security, state and military. I think you missed him when the family moved to Arkansas and he went first to pharmacy school, and then to medical school. I have checked this 20 ways to Sunday.

As for the family memory? Nobody ever mentioned this and my dad's aunt was heavily into geneaology way back when you used only pencils. She had an entire room of index cards. It was crazy.

Frank (Myra's first husband) was my great grand uncle, my great-grandfather's brother (Sewell Lloyd Austin). So technically, he's no relation at all, but we would have cousined him anyway. We never were sticklers - kin is kin. :)

The Austin Family is well documented. I doubt that Willis made the list (they're pretty much straight line) but I will double check that source (even though no one accepts it. lol.. )
Added by jane austin on May 03, 2017 10:24 PM
Paul Semones
Willis D. Wright, died on Shinyo Maru
Hello Marie and Jane,

This is my first posting on findagrave, so please forgive me if these are not best forums for my comments. I am going to attempt to cross-post this to both of your profiles.

I have been corresponding with Marie for several weeks as part of a research project I am doing for the alumni magazine of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I am in the midst of a project to document the lives and experiences of all of the 40 to 50 men who were students of this school (and its predecessor entitites and its associated high school academies) who died during World War II. Marie alerted me to Jane’s comments on the difficulty untangling which Willis Wright was the one sadly lost on the Shinyo Maru prison ship when it was attacked by the American submarine USS Paddle. And I admit, his history is difficult to untangle, beginning with the fact that there are two men named Willis Wright born about the same time in Nebraska.

I have done original research using the unpublished materials of John Brown University, in addtion to what’s available on Ancestry and Newspapers, and performed an original cross-check of names between the 1940 Census records, taken in what appears to be an Army barracks in Kern County, California, with a partial roster of the 19th Bomb Group, of which the POW who died on the Shinyo Maru was a member.

In my opinion there is only a vanishingly small possibility that I have the “wrong” Willis Wright. I have a high degree of certainty that the man lost on the Shinyo Maru, service number 6297814, rank of Corporal, was indeed the son of Myra Bell Daman Wright, and he attended the high school academy of JBU in the early 1920’s.

From the JBU records, we have a 1936 alumni directory that lists his location as M.W. Ranch, Newcastle, Wyoming. This matches well with Willis Daman Wright’s May 25, 1933 marriage certificate, issued across the state line in South Dakota, as his residence is Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and wife Louise Beulah Kinnison’s residence is Newcastle, Wyoming.

Add to this the 1930 census log from Siloam Springs, Arkansas, that Myra B. Wright and her husband Harry M. lived with Myra’s 81-year-old mother Jelina (sp?) Daman in the Hico portion of Siloam Springs.

In the 1940 census log for 34-year old Willis D. Wright, born in Nebraska, we see the difficult notations that he is listed as “single” and his 1935 residence was listed as Long Beach California. However, it is highly likely that this page, taken presumably in a barracks filled with a long line of men waiting their turn with the census taker, contains errors. Most glaring of all, and surely an impossible coincidence, is the fact that one line up from Willis Wright, across from the name Max W. Walker, the 1935 residence is listed as Newcastle, Wyoming!

When I cross-checked all the names on this 1940 census page, I found six (possibly seven, accounting for spelling error) other names that all appeared on the roster of the 19th Bombardment Group that received orders on September 20, 1941, to proceed to the Philippines. Willis D. Wright, PFC, service number 6297814 appears on this roster.

The war history of that bomb group involves virtually all of their bombers being destroyed on the ground at Clark Field in the Philippines a few hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, and the members of the group being converted into provisional infantry and retreating to the Bataan peninsula, where virtually all of them either died or became POWs by early 1942.

A news clipping from The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) of Dec. 18, 1943, says “Cpl. Willis D. Wright, son of Mrs. Myra Wright, Anselmo, Neb.” was among a “list of U.S. army personnel held prisoners of war by Japan…”

Within the impressively comprehensive Mansell POW database, which lists over 46,000 names of POWs of the Japanese, including those who both survived and died, there is only one “Willis D. Wright.”

Within the John Brown University alumni bulletins published in 1944-1945, there are two mentions of a former student named Willis Wright, with dates of attendance variously reported as between 1921 and 1924. In the September 1944 issue, it simply says, “Jap prisoner taken on Bataan.” In the June 1945 issue, it lists him among Prisoners of War, and notes, “Air Corps in Philippines, prisoner, 1942.”

(Obviously, the alumni director could not have known that he was already dead by the time of publication, as the Shinyo Maru was sunk September 7, 1944, and it is likely that the fates of those men were not known until the end of the war.)

By the early 1950’s, another document from the John Brown University archives attempted to list the name of every former student who had died in WWII, or in military service shortly thereafter, or during at least the first year or two of the Korean War. Willis Wright is listed as, “Lost in Jap prison ship … torpedoed by American submarine, Sept. 7, 1944.”

I have not attempted to summarize the entirety of my research, but this captures the majority of the relevant parts in tracing his history. I hope it helps answer some questions. In my opinion, the Willis D. Wright who perished in the Shinyo Maru incident was indeed the son of Myra and Harry, brother to Laurice, high school student of the John E. Brown schools in the early 1920’s, who was born in Nebraska and spent roughly 20 years of his early life in and near Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

I would be eager and grateful to correspond with either of you further, to see if you may have additional details I have missed or neglected.


Paul T. Semones, P.E.
John Brown University, Class of 1999
Added by Paul Semones on May 03, 2017 12:20 PM
jane austin
Willie D Wright
Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000

Name Willie D Wright
Death Date 16 September 1987
Death Place Scott
Age 81
Residence Scott
Volume 48
Certificate 23804
Added by jane austin on May 03, 2017 2:27 AM
jane austin
Social Security Death Index
U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014

Name Willie D. Wright
SSN 401-90-4771
Last Residence Georgetown, 40324, Scott, Kentucky, USA
Born 25 Jan 1906
Died 16 Sep 1987
State (Year) SSN issued Kentucky - 1973


The man had two children, and this is very disrespectful.
Added by jane austin on May 03, 2017 2:15 AM
jane austin
Willis Wright
U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010

Name Willis Wright
Gender Male
Birth Date 5 Jun 1905
Death Date 24 Mar 1987
SSN 508584027
Enlistment Date 1 28 Sep 1942
Release Date 1 24 Jan 1946

As you can see, Willis Daman Wright's military record includes his dates of birth and death. He died in Omaha in 1987.

You have the wrong Willis Wright, Marie. Please detach the parents and siblings from your Willis, or I'll need to report it as a duplicate memorial.

Give me what you have on your Willis and I'll do my best to help you find his people. Myrna is not his mom, and no matter who you ask, you cannot change history.

Also, please do not leave flowers on Myrna's memorial with your memorial number. That is extremely disrespectful. You may want to review the FAQs on the topic of flowers.
Added by jane austin on May 03, 2017 2:02 AM
jane austin
Willis Wright
Marie, I know you're searching, but Willis D. Wright, the son of Myra Daman Austin Wright and her second husband is not the Willis Wright who died in World War II. I have fully documented his childhood, his schooling, his marriage.

And so essentially, you are duplicating his memorial.

I wish you every bit of comfort you can find for this young man, but he is not the same person. He's close in my family tree. I know that you have an interest in the Austins, but am not sure what your connection is?

I'd be happy to share information with you, but Find A Grave is very strict about duplicate memorials, and at this point, this is what you have. I see that you have even edited his middle name to match the one I learned while doing my research.

I have contacted you about this previously, and there is a note on my wall acknowledging and apologizing, yet we still have no idea who the Willis Wright aboard that ill-fated ship was.

Should we not be seeking his true identity?

jane austin
Added by jane austin on May 03, 2017 1:35 AM
Angels All Around Us
RE: Thank you
Glad to help! I also posted a photo for Albena Turk, the grave next to Mayme's. How are they related?
Added by Angels All Around Us on May 02, 2017 8:34 PM
Ingke Peetz
RE: Memorial# 157597620
WOW... Dear "Marie searching",
within 2 hours ( I can`t believe!!!) I`ve got your answer.


It was a pleasure for me to cooperate with you!

All the best to you, with sunny greetings from Germany - Ingke Peetz
Added by Ingke Peetz on Apr 09, 2017 12:29 AM
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