O'Brien County

Sgt. Byron Henry Nelson




Byron Henry Nelson was born Mar. 29, 1916 to Charles and Mabel Faulkner Nelson. He died Apr. 25, 1944 and is buried at the Tablets of the Missing, Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Florence, Italy

Sgt. Nelson served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II with the 721st Bomb Squadron, 450th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force. He was a nose gunner aboard a B-24G Liberator bomber. Lt. Nelson’s plane disappeared in Italy after being attacked by German fighters. He was one of the crewmen who perished in the crash.

Sgt. Nelson’s military awards and honors include the Purple Heart, Air Medal with a silver and bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze service star, World War II Victory Medal, Enlisted Aircrew Member Wings and Aerial Gunner Badge Wings.

On Sept. 9, 1947, the American Graves Registration Service disinterred remains from a cemetery near Fognano, Italy, where they were reportedly buried by local residents following the crash. The remains were unable to be identified and were re-interred as “Unknown X-190” in the Florence American Cemetery on May 26, 1949.

Due to new historical investigations and new technology that could link an identification to Unknown X-190, the remains were disinterred in August 2015. DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

Sgt. Byron Henry (Barney) Nelson now has a memorial marker in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Primghar, IA.

Source: ancestry.com