LTJG Herschel Allen Oehlert Jr.

LTJG Herschel Allen Oehlert Jr.

Clarke County, Iowa, USA
Death 6 Jul 1943 (aged 23)
Burial Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Plot SECTION 79 SITE 279-281
Memorial ID 39934675 · View Source
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The Osceola Tribune, Osceola, Iowa
March 28, 1950, Page 7

Lieut Junior Grade Herschel Allen Oehlert

Herschel Allen Oehlert, Jr., son of Herschel A. and Emily Baldwin Oehlert was born Feb. 18, 1920 at Osceola, Iowa and died July 6, 1943 in the service of his country at the age of 23 years, 4 months and 18 days.

He grew to manhood on his fathers farm, south of Woodburn and attended the rural schools of his community and three years at the Woodburn high school. He then attended the Osceola high school one year and graduated there in 1937, taking the Normal course.

Following his graduation from high school, since he planned to enter the teaching profession, he attended Iowa State Teachers' College in Cedar Falls, two years. Then he taught one year in a Clarke county rural school after which he went back to Iowa State teachers' college for another year.

In 1941 he enlisted in the Naval Air Corps Reserve and entered active duty in June of that year, taking his training at Corpus Christi, Texas.

He completed his training there in May, 1942, and was commissioned as Ensign in the Naval Air Corps Reserve, and at that time was home on a short leave.

In June 1942, he was sent overseas with duty at Hawaii and was stationed there about 10 months at which time he participated in the search and rescue of Eddie Rickenbacker and his party who were adrift in the pacific.

In March 1943 he was promoted to Lt. (j.g.) and having learned to fly the B-24 Liberator bombing plane was transferred to Bombing Sqdn. 102 and with that squadron was sent to the South Pacific in April 1943.

They were stationed on Guadalcanal and were ready for combat duty.

On July 6, 1943, the plane on which he was flying with Lt. Comm. Bruce Van Vorhies in command, was sent on a special and lone mission to bomb Greenwich Island, on which the Japs had a weather and radio station, which was a connecting link for their operations in the South Pacific.

It was on this day he and his comrades lost their lives while in performance of their duties. He was reported as missing in action, and his status remained as such until the close of the war in 1945, after which the navy did research in the island and discovered the grave of Unknown American Airmen on Greenwich Island dated July 6, 1943, after which he was officially reported as killed in action.

His body and those of his comrades were moved to a national cemetery on the island of Guam. later they were moved to Hawaii and January of this year were brought to the United States.

He was buried at 11 a.m. March 15, 1950 at Jefferson Barracks National cemetery, St. Louis, Mo., at a group burial with his comrades.

Military services were held with Catholic and Protestant chaplains officiating.

He leaves to mourn his passing his father and mother, brothers Joe D. Oehlert of Los Angeles, Calif., Robert and William Oehlert of Woodburn, other relatives and a host of friends.

Those attending the services at Jefferson Barracks National cemetery were the immediate family and the following members of the Herndon-Oehlert post No. 157, American Legion, Woodburn: Tom Cottrell, Howard Rogers, Joe Tomlinson, Cecil Davenport, Glen mason, Earnest Smith, Wilbert Smith, Milton Hand, Jesse Jenkins, Earnest Woods, Earnest Carder, Dwight Ewoldsen and Earnest Stearns.

Note: A cenotaph honoring Herschel Allen Oehlert is also placed at the Woodburn Cemetery, Clarke Co., IA.

Transcribed as published by Karen Brewer



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  • Created by: ShaneO
  • Added: 27 Jul 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 39934675
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTJG Herschel Allen Oehlert Jr. (18 Feb 1920–6 Jul 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 39934675, citing Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by ShaneO (contributor 47009366) .