Dallas County

Lt. Dale R. Wilson




Perry Chief:  Mr. and Mrs. Clabe Wilson, who live two miles southeast of Perry, are entitled to have a service flag in their window with five stars on it – three of them gold.

One of the hardest hit local families by the war, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson lost three sons during the recent world conflict. Another son was recently discharged from the navy and a fifth is still in the service.

Flight Officer Claiborne Junior Wilson, 20, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs.  Wilson, was killed in a plane accident Aug. 9 last year, at Aloe Field, Victoria, Texas.

Word has been received from the War Department that Lt. Dale R. Wilson, 24, who has been reported missing in action since Nov. 27th, 1943, is now presumed dead. He was on a mission to Wewak, New Guinea.

Dale received his wings at Roswell, New Mexico in Feb. 1943, and left for overseas in July of the same year.  He served with the Fifth Air Force and was stationed at Port Morsby, New Guinea.

The War Department has notified the Wilsons that their son, Lt. Daniel S. Wilson, 22, who was previously reported missing in action Feb. 19, 1945, is now reported killed in action on that date in a plane crash over Schwangerg, Austria.

Daniel received his wings at Williams Field, Chandler, Arizona. He left for overseas in Oct. 1944 and was based with the 15th Air Force in Italy.

Two other sons of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson also served with the armed forces.

Delbert Wilson, 30, who had the rating of electrician’s mate first class in the navy, is now home discharged after being in the service four years. Previous to his second enlistment, he had served in the navy four years.

Chief Electrician Donald Wilson, 29, who has been in the navy 12 years, is now stationed at Seattle.

Source: Perry Daily Chief, February 6, 1946 (photos included)

“The Secretary of War desires me to express his regrets that your son second Lieutenant Dale R. Wilson has been reported missing in action since twenty seven November over New Guinea. . . .”

Leora Wilson received this penciled Western Union telegram on her December 4th birthday, in rural Dallas County, Iowa, near Minburn.

By then, all five sons were in the military. Just the month before, Junior, the youngest, had just left for Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas, hoping to become pilot like Dale and Danny. Danny was in Basic Training at Marana, Arizona. Older sons Delbert and Donald were serving in the Navy.
Daughter Doris had married an Iowa farmer who’d become an Army Air Force pilot, then an advanced flight instructor at Marfa, Texas. She was “expecting” a baby the next spring, but hadn’t told anyone yet.

Daughter Darlene, twin to Lt. Dale R. Wilson, was a farm wife with a toddler. She lived near Earlham. She was the only family member near enough to go through the heartache with her parents.

Dale Wilson had hoped to become a pursuit (fighter) pilot, but that early in the war, the Army Air Force needed bomber pilots in the South Pacific. He flew a B-25 Mitchell Bomber, but to his chagrin, his graduating class was made co-pilots for the class ahead.

Dale didn’t want someone else in charge of flying the plane, and had even requested to be transferred when they got to Australia. The answer was no.

Dale’s crew was assigned to the new 823rd Bomb Squadron of the 38th Bomb Group at 17-Mile Field, Port Moresby, New Guinea. Most of the bombing and strafing missions were across the treacherous Owen Stanley Mountains.

The mission of Dale’s crew on November 27, 1943, was again the troublesome Japanese air dromes at Wewak and Boram, on the north coast. Their B-25 was hit by AA fire. Other pilots saw the plane hit the water and bounce, but didn’t see any of crew in the water.

Because of extreme caution, the families of the six who were lost on that plane were not allowed to contact each other until over a year later. They consoled each other and speculated on what might have happened. Other crews had been rescued and made their way through the jungle. Perhaps. . . .

The crew:
Pilot 1st Lt. John M. Wieland, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Co-pilot 2nd Lt. Dale R. Wilson, age 22, Minburn, Iowa
2nd Lt. John B. Stack, 0-673086, Grand Rapids, Michigan, married to an army nurse.
S/Sgt. Irvin E. Wollenweber, Wheeling, W. Virginia
S/Sgt. Stanley W. Banko, Everson, Pennsylvania
S/Sgt. Willie T. Sharpton, Dacula, Georgia

Wilsons got notes from people on the west cost who’d heard short-wave broadcasts naming Dale Wilson and John Stack as POWs of the Japanese, but this was never confirmed by the government.

These six young Americans have never been found.

~Submitted by family researcher, Joy Neal Kidney.