Information provided by his daughter, Lois Lee Templeton Patterson:
My father, John Worth Templeton, did NOT get shot down in his plane. It was a horrific accident. There were 3 planes loaded with bombs flying out to store the bombs. The back plane missed the timing and caused all 3 planes to crash, killing all aboard all 3 planes except 1 man from California. I have documentation of this in his war book and letters of condolence. His brother, Uncle R. L. Templeton, told me this same incident as did my grandmother, Lutie Bell Gresham Templeton.
Information provided by CWGC/ABMC:
Sgt. John Templeton, who was killed March 18 when his plane exploded in the air after taking off on a combat mission from a field in France, has been posthumously awarded the Air Medal and two Oak Leaf Clusters. In addition to these, a posthumous award of the Purple Heart has been made to Sgt. Templeton. He was serving as a mid-upper gunner using a 50 calibre machine gun aboard a B-26 with the American 9th Air Force. He is buried at Solers, France.
Search for family of portrait Sgt. Templeton
Posted: Nov 18, 2014 7:51 PM CST
Amarillo, TX - One Texas woman has a drawing she thinks may belong to a panhandle family.
Two years ago, Mandy Cantu found a portrait of Sgt. John Worth Templeton on sale for $2.99 at a Goodwill she managed in Big Spring.
But it's the letter that she found behind it that explained who this person was and where she may find his family.
"Everything made sense to me then, you know, who he was and how he died for our country and you know it's sad but you know he's a hero," says Cantu.
Written by, "His Sister Lois" the typed up letter in the back of the portrait says; "This is Sgt. John Worth Templeton, age 28 on 10/3/1944, a B-26 Gunner with the 451 Bomb Squadron of the 322 bomb group, 9th US Air Force in France, who lost his life 3/18/1945 in Remagen Bridge action that ended WWII (8/14/1945) when Japan surrendered. His body lies in the US Military Cemetery, Epinal, France. I took his daughter, Mrs. Lois Lee Patterson, there with me in June 1984, and our picture was made kneeling beside each side of his monument, happy that the word "Texas" appears prominently thereon. He was posthumously awarded two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal. This portrait is the only likeness I have ever seen of him that does not show his ever-present genial smile I loved so. I'm disappointed about that (the artist must never have known him.)"
"I want to find his family because I know if my loved one was killed and there was a portrait out there of her, I would love for somebody to come bring it to me or let me know that it existed so I just feel like maybe they would appreciate knowing I went out of my way to find them to give them this picture of their grandfather, uncle, you know whatever he is to them," says Cantu.
So here at NewsChannel 10, Reporter Sarah Macias spent the day looking online for any information that could lead to a family member and found a website with possible names of relatives. And the Genealogy department in downtown Amarillo's library agreed to help us with our research.
But for now the portrait hangs on Mandy's wall. "I work at a retirement complex so you know, a lot of them are old Army veterans and stuff and I thought you know I think that would be a good piece for them to look at and see," says Cantu.
Relative of portrait found
Posted: Nov 19, 2014 7:08 PM CST
Amarillo, TX - An area woman says she is related to the man on a portrait found at Goodwill in Big Spring. After many phone calls and e-mails NewsChannel 10's Sarah Macias was able to track down two relatives of Sgt. John Worth Templeton.
His niece Bobbie Rhodes from Wellington and his daughter Lois Lee Patterson who lives in Memphis, Tennessee.
Over the phone Lois seemed very happy and emotional to know her fathers portrait had been found and was safe.
And as for Bobbie she had the chance to meet the woman from Big Spring via Skype.
"I want to thank you so terribly much for doing this for my family because we don't have too many left of any of them," says Rhodes.
"Oh you're welcome, I'm so so happy y'all are going to get this picture back," says Mandy Cantu.
Bobbie was only a teenager when she found out her uncle died in World War II. "My dad and mother and I were in Dalhart when we got word that he had passed away and we were so stunned. We went out the to the lake and all three of us just balled and boo hoo'd for a long time," says Rhodes.
You'll recall a note on the back of the portrait described how her Aunt Lois made it her mission to take Templeton's daughter to his grave site. "She said I'm doing something for each one of you children because I had none so I'm taking her overseas so she can see her daddy's grave. And she said I'm writing all of this down," says Rhodes.
With only a few items left of the memory Sgt. Templeton, Rhodes says the portrait will bring closure to the family. "Like him telling us goodbye. It's the last thing we will ever have of his and it's kind of a pleasant feeling knowing that we have another picture of him."
The woman who found the portrait, Mandy Cantu, says she plans to mail it to Bobbie Thursday.
Entered the Service from Texas.