Carroll County

T/Sgt Wilbur H. Spiller




Wilbur Spiller, who is stationed at Camp Claiborne, La., has been transferred from the sign painting department to the drafting and map making section.  He retains the same rating in the headquarters and service company. Spiller will be home at Christmas time to spend a fifteen-day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller.

Source:  Carroll Times Herald, December 1, 1941


Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller have just received a letter from their son, Technician Wilbur Spiller, who is somewhere in Ireland.  He tells of his completion of a course at an aircraft identification school in that country.  Six enlisted men and three officers from his group took the course, and Wilbur tied for high score in the final examinations.  He passed with an “A” grade.

Source:  Carroll Times Herald, August 24, 1942

Tech. Sgt. Spiller Writes to Parents From North Africa

Tech. Sgt. Wilbur Spiller writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller, that he is enjoying the climate in North Africa and finding everything surprisingly modern.

Tech. Sgt. Spiller had been transferred from Ireland to England, and thence to Africa.  His letter to his parents, just received by them, was the first they had gotten since Dec. 18.

Source: Carroll Times Herald, January 26, 1943


Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller received two letters this morning from their son, Tech. Sgt. Wilbur Spiller, who is in North Africa.  He writes that “Mail in North Africa is rather uncertain. I am OK personally and my health is good.  Everything is rolling along quite smoothly, considering our situation.”

The was the first word Mr. and Mrs. Spiller had had from their son in  a month.

With one of his letters, he enclosed a five-franc note as a souvenir.

Source:  Carroll Times Herald, March 17, 1943

Sgt. Spiller in Hospital After Attempted Rescue

Tech. Sgt. Wilbur Spiller, pictured here with a native Arab with whom he seems to have formed a friendship, has written to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller, of his personal experiences during the North African campaign.

Although his outfit, or a portion of it, was in nearly all of the major skirmishes in Tunisia, including the one for Kasserine Pass, Tech. Sgt. Spiller perhaps had his narrowest escape after the campaign closed.

When swimming with two companions in the Mediterranean Sea off Bizerte, the two boys were caught in undertow and were unable to get back to shore.  Tech. Sgt. Spiller attempted to rescue them, but was unsuccessful. When he returned to shore he was so completely exhausted that he was sent to a hospital to recover. Recently he submitted to a minor operation.  He is now in a convalescent hospital.

Sgt. Spiller’s unit, with the engineers of a division of the National Guard, is a group of specialists who, during the campaign, took care of mine field reports and supplied the division with maps.  He states that eight of them used over seven tons of paper in making the maps, each of which was counted and handled separately.

At one time during the campaign while they were bivouacked in a large cactus patch, they were shelled by the Germans for forty-five minutes.  Another time they were strafed by a Messerschmitt.

Tech. Sgt. Spiller speaks highly of what the American boys have done.

Source:  Carroll Times Herald, August 31, 1943 (photo included)

Tech. Sgt. Spiller Is Out of Hospital

Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller have just received a V-mail letter from their son, Tech. Sgt. Wilbur Spiller, telling of his release from a convalescent hospital in North Africa and his return to his original outfit.  Sgt. Spiller had been hospitalized since July 5, after suffering complete exhaustion following an attempt to rescue two companions with whom he was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, off Bizerte. Both boys were caught in the undertow and were drowned.

Source: Carroll Times Herald, September 29, 1943


Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller received a letter yesterday from their son, Tech. Sgt. Wilbur Spiller.  It was the first word they had gotten from him in about eight weeks, and in the meantime he had gone from North Africa to Italy.  He writes that the Italians were so happy to see the American soldiers that they gathered along the roadside and threw fruits and nuts into their peeps.

Source:  Carroll Times Herald, November 5, 1943

Sgt. Wilbur Spiller Addresses Rotarians At Regular Meeting

T/Sgt. Wilbur Spiller, of the 34th Division, National Guard, who recently returned home on furlough from Italy, was the guest speaker at a regular meeting of the Carroll Rotary Club at the country club last night.  Sgt. Spiller, who is in liaison service, told about his experiences in Ireland, England, Africa and Italy.

Source: Carroll Times Herald, September 19, 1944

T/Sgt. Wilbur Spiller Reports Back for Duty

T/Sgt. Wilbur Spiller, who has been on a 30-day furlough following two and one-half years of duty overseas, reports back at Fort Sheridan, Ill., tomorrow.  Sgt. Spiller, who had been here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller, the larger part of the time, spent the past week with his brother, Glenn Spiller, at Nashville, Tenn., and goes to Fort Sheridan from there.

Source: Carroll Times Herald, October 7, 1944


T/Sgt. Wilbur H. Spiller, on liaison duty with the 34th division in Italy, has written his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller, that he has left his outfit to be attached to another unit for a few weeks while doing some work with reference to printing a history for the division.

“The history has already been written and all I am doing is designing the cover and helping to get the copy in order so that it can be printed,” he has written, continuing that, “ The cover design was easy because there was no pictorial work, only lettering and a simple design, but the proof reading of the printed copy and the composition of copy and pictures in the book is something I have had very little experience in, but I’m making out OK as there are several here who know all about it and have been helping out.  It is a great experience and I’m glad to have the chance to learn a little about the printing business.”

“I’m living like a soldier back in the States now, “ he added.  “I work in an office, live in a barrack, eat in a mess hall and have all the finer things in life.  There is a barber shop, theater, a club and just about everything a fellow would want. It’s really a change from the primitive life up front.”

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, March 14, 1945

T-Sgt. Spiller With New Outfit For Short Time

T/Sgt. Wilbur H. Spiller whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller, have been anticipating his return home have received a letter from him, dated June 21, in which he says that it will probably be another two months before he will be able to leave Italy.  He is with a new outfit.  He wrote that, with the arrival of many new men, he is assisting with training of the cadre.

He is also “sort of acting as a real estate agent” working with a Major who handles all the billeting for the division which entails taking care of plats of land for bivouacs and requisitions for hotels and restaurants.

T/Sgt. Spiller, who is near Venice at present, sent home four boxes of Italian pottery.  He expects to be discharged from the Army on points when he returns to the States.

Source:  Carroll Daily Times Herald, July 3, 1945


T/Sgt. Wilbur Spiller, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Spiller, arrived home yesterday morning with a discharge from the Army.  With a total of 111 points, he received his release at Fort Sheridan, Ill.

Attached to the famous 34th Division, 109th Engineers Battalion, T/Sgt. Spiller was overseas three years, one month and a few days.  He was in Africa and Italy the larger part of that time.

His decorations include the Good Conduct Ribbon, American Defense Ribbon, and European Theater Ribbon, with five battle participation stars.

T/Sgt. Spiller was in the National Guard for a year and half before going into Federal service four and one-half years ago.  He returned to the States Aug. 25.

Source:  Carroll Times Herald, September 6, 1945