Fayette County

Lt. F. B. Claxton, Jr.

Photo: Upper Iowa University, 1945






Phone in Your News column

--The C.H. Knos and F.B. Claxton families received letters Tuesday from their sons, Lt. Duane Knos and Lt. F.B. Claxton, stating that they had arrived in England. The boys were graduated from the same flying school and have been together since entering the service. Lt. Knos also writes that he has seen Lt. Gayl Farnum of Sumner, a former student at U.I.U.

Source: Fayette County Leader, September 7, 1944


Message From War Department to His Parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Claxton, Tuesday

Mr. and Mrs. F.B. Claxton received a message from the war department, Tuesday, that their son, Second Lieutenant F.B. Claxton, Jr., 22, was reported missing in action since Feb. 24, over Germany. They had not received any word from him since Feb. 26. This letter was written Feb. 17.

Lieut. Claxton is a combat flier with the 19th Tactical Air Command, Thunderbolt 'Raider' fighter-bomber group, and has flown probably forty missions.

He entered the army Feb 23, 1943, and received his wings at Luke Field, Ariz., April 15, 1944, then trained at Abilene, Tex., before going overseas in July, 1944, where he joined his present organization for combat.

Lieut. Claxton is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. F.B. Claxton. He was graduated from Fayette high school and attended Upper Iowa University until he entered the service. In high school he was prominent in athletics and music activities.

He received the air medal award recently, in recognition for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight on the European area.

Source: Fayette County Leader, March 15, 1945 (photo included)

Lieut. F.B. Claxton Jr. in Hospital in England

Letters from Lieutenant F.B. Claxton, Jr. and one from the hospital in England, where he is a patient, have been received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F.B. Claxton this week. While the facts disclosed by the war department and the letters from his friend, a lieutenant in his squadron, gave the family hope that he was alive, though probably a German prisoner, this is the first news direct from him.

The latest message, received yesterday, stated that he was recovering satisfactorily from third degree burns on his face and hands.

It will be remembered that Lieut. Claxton, pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt was reported missing after participating in an armed reconnaissance missions to Germany on Feb. 24; that the family had been informed that his plane was hit by flak, burned, and that he had been seen running into the woods.

That he suffered burns and was taken prisoner is better told in excerpts from his letters:

April 19, 1945
I was wounded and taken prisoner. It was nothing serious. I was in a German Prisoner of War hospital operated (except for supervisory personnel) by captured French doctors, Polish doctors, and Frenchmen who have had previous experience as medical assistants. The supplies were rather scarce, but they did very well under the circumstances. The Americans came on tanks and half tracks one day and we were free, again. There is much to tell, but it will have to wait. Now we await planes to England.

April 20, 1945
I am now in a hospital in England. It is grand to sleep in beds free of bugs and fleas, and to see American nurses who speak English. We have had lots of good food so far, and today we were weighed. I suppose I've gained three or four pounds since I was freed, but even so I've lost some weight. I am here with four other Americans.

April 21, 1945
There is a large unit, permanent, of course, and inasmuch as we have not eaten excessively, for several weeks, we get lots of food, chocolate drinks, etc. I can't tell you anything about the last two months.

Source: Fayette County Leader, May 3, 1945