Mitchell County

Virgil A. Ormsby


Photo-Memorial Tombstone, Sacred Heart Cemetery, Osage, Iowa


Lt. Cletus T. Ormsby Was in "Black Widow"

OSAGE, IOWA - Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Ormsby received a message from the war department stating that their son, Lt. Cletus T. Ormsby, is missing in action over Germany since March 27.

Lt. Cletus Ormsby is a pilot of a Black Widow, doing night flying. He received his wings at Williams Field, Arizona, in August, 1943, and has been over seas several months.
Another message earlier in the week informed the Ormsby's of the death of their son, Pfc. Virgil Ormsby, who was killed on Luzon.

Source: Mason City Globe Gazette, April 7, 1945


OSAGE, IOWA - Memorial services for two brothers, Pfc. Virgil A. and Lt. Cletus Ormsby, sons of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Ormsby of Osage will be held Tuesday Morning at the Sacred Heart Church. Rev. Fr. R. A. Ormsby of Belmond, uncle of the deceased servicemen, will read the mass.

Virgil was killed in action near Bomban, Luzon Island, Philippines, Feb. 24, 1945. He was serving with Co. E, 160th infantry, 40th division, and had been in service since June 20, 1941. He was overseas two and a half years, serving in Hawaii, New Britain and the Philippines. He had received the Good conduct and Expert Infantryman medals and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

Virgil was born near Britt, on August 3, 1919 and moved to Little Cedar with the family in 1929.

Lt. Cletus Ormsby, a Black Widow fighter pilot, was killed in action over Germany March 27, 1945. Shortly after that he was reported missing and it was not until May 23 that his parents received the word that he had been killed.

Information concerning his last flight from his radio operator, David Howerton, Jr., of Ashland, Kentucky, says the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and one of the shells exploded in the plane. The radio operator parachuted to safety but on enemy territory, with both legs broken. He was in a German hospital for two days before American troops captured the town.

Cletus was born at Mason City, May 23, 1924, and was graduated from Little Cedar high school. Surviving, besides his parents, is one brother, Everett, who is a reservist in the U.S. engineers in Hawaii. He is home now on furlough.

Source: Waterloo Courier - May 27, 1945