John ( Jack ) Lawrence Wenger
2nd Lt 0-686706 614th
1922 - 1944
Bombardier aboard 42-31036 (Nobody's Baby)
John Lawrence Wenger.
Margraten cemetery, Netherlands.
Wall of Missing
Jack was born Feb 25, 1922, Chicago, Cook, Illinois.
He was a graduate from Parker High School, where he was president of the band.
He was working as an errand boy for an electric company
In March, 1941 he enlisted to the air corps.
He recieved his wings in Childress, tex.
In Nov, 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
His last mission, Feb 4, 1944, Target: Frankfurt, after dropping bombs the plane was hit by flak.
They believed to have crashed in the North Sea as no evidence of their crash or bodies were ever found.
He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal
In 1944, when Jack died on the age of 21 he left behind his family :
His mother, Margaret Wenger, age 47
His sister, Margaret Wenger, age 25
His brother, Albert Wenger, age 23
His sister, Helen Wenger, age 19
His brother, Robert Wenger, age 15
Mission to Frankfurt, germany, At 12:25 the ship was seen to lose altitude and gradually fell back from the formation.
No one knows what happened but the ship did not return to base.
The Wenger Family
The Wengers (Albert and Margaret) lived in Chicago, and had the five children
The family was extremely poor and had a really tough time during the Great Depression.
Margaret was the oldest, then Albert, Jack, Helen, and Bob.
From left to right,
Margaret Wenger, Albert P Wenger, John Wenger, Helen Wenger Pfeiffer, Robert Wenger.
Albert and Jack joined the Army in the late '30s and played in the band.
They were very close, being the closest in age and the first two boys.
When his father Albert died in about 1940 his brother Albert was discharged from the army
to go home and take care of his mother and the rest of the family.
Later in the war his brother Albert was drafted and sent off to the Pacific theater, where he was
awaiting the land invasion of Japan when the war was ended after atomic bombs were dropped.
All three of the Wenger boys served in the military during the war, and both girls married men
who served in the military as well, one in the Army, one in the Navy.
Jack was the only member of the family to be killed.
left to right back row,
Albert, Margaret, Helen, Jack.
In the front row kneeling is Bob.
Bob is the baby, as you can see, and he is the
only one still alive.
He and his family live in Denver, Colorado.
John and his brother Albert were bests friends, and he was extremely thrifty and would have
made a great businessman had he lived.
While in the Army he loaned money out to his buddies, because he never spent any, and on
payday he would stand at the paymaster's line waiting for his pals to get paid so they could
repay the loans he made them.
5 dollars payback for a loan of 4 dollars was the going rate.
He also sold all the free cigarettes the Army gave him, because he never smoked.
As you may imagine, pay rates were pretty low then, on the order of 25 dollars a month.
When Jack was killed, he had accumulated more than $5,000 in savings, which the army
then sent home to his family.
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