Polk County

S/Sgt Roy B. Wilhite




Roy Wilhite, 21, Among Missing 

Staff Sergt. Roy B. Wilhite, 21, has been missing in action since Dec. 17, over Germany, the War Department has informed his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Wilhite, 1209 Payton ave.  He was a radio operator of a Liberator based in Italy.

Sergeant Wilhite is a graduate of Lincoln High school and was employed as a clerk by the Great Western railway here before entering the army air forces Feb. 20, 1943. He was sent overseas last November.  Sergeant Wilhite’s group holds the presidential unit citation. He has a brother, Staff Sergt. James P. Wilhite, serving on Leyte.

Source: The Des Moines Tribune, Friday, January 5, 1945

Hear Roy Wilhite Is Nazi Captive

Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Wilhite, 1209 Payton ave., Thursday received word indirectly that their son, Roy, missing in action since Dec. 17, is a prisoner of war of Germany.

The information was sent to the Wilhites by the mother of a member of his crew on a Liberator bomber, who in turn had received a letter from an airman in Italy telling here what had happened to men on the Liberator after a crash landing near Belchhammer, Germany.

All men on the ship had been taken prisoner, the airman said, and with the exception of the two who were wounded and could not be moved, were taken farther into Germany. The wounded men were later liberated by advancing Russian troops and were taken to a hospital in Italy. It was here that the writer of the letter learned that other men of the crew, including Wilhite, were unhurt and prisoners.

Wilhite, 24, a staff sergeant in the air forces, was graduated from Lincoln High school here and was employed in the Chicago Great Western Railway Co., yard offices here before going into service.

Source: The Des Moines Tribune, Thursday, March 22, 1945 (photo included)