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Ensminger, Wade H. - S-Sgt.
Merkel Airman Listed Missing
MERKEL, Jan 11. -- S-Sgt. Wade H. Ensminger Jr., engineer-gunner on a B-26, has been missing since Dec. 25 over Luxembourg, the War department has notified his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Ensminger of route 4.
Sergeant Ensminger had been overseas since late May, 1944. A graduate of Merkel high school in 1937, he attended Texas Technological college for one year and entered the Army in July, 1942. He received basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif., was later at San Antonio, Wichita Falls, Ft. Myers, Fla., and was graduated as an engineer-gunner at Lake Charles, La.
Abilene Reporter News, Abilene, TX 11 Jan 1945
Parents Receive Purple Heart
MERKEL, May 25. -- Mr. and Mrs. Wade Ensminger, Merkel, have received the Purple Heart awarded posthumously to their son, S-Sgt. Wade Ensminger Jr., who was killed in action Dec. 24, 1944.
Sergeant Ensminger, in the air corps, was first believed by his crew to have bailed out of his plane when it was struck by flak and caught fire. His body was found a few days later. He had apparently been killed by a skull fracture. He was buried in Luxembourg, with a chaplain of his faith conducting the service.
Abilene Reporter News, Abilene, TX 25 May 1945
Airman Visits Parents of Gunner Killed in Action
MERKEL, Aug 3 - (spl) - Making a special trip to see the parents of S-Sgt. Wade Ensminger Jr., who was first reported missing in action over Luxembourg Christmas day and later listed as "killed in action" on that date, S-Sgt. Norman L. Sanford, of Thermopylis, Wyo., visited recently in the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Ensminger, Route 4.
Sergeant Sanford, tail-gunner and Sergeant Ensminger, engineer-gunner, bailed out together when their B-26 was hit by flak and caught on fire. Sergeant Ensminger died of a skull fracture.
The visitor who returned to the States on May 24, had been overseas exactly a year and had completed 65 missions. He has 125 points for discharge. Furloughed at Denver, Colo., he made the extra trip here and is to return to Santa Monica, Calif. At the time of his death, Sergeant Ensminger had made 32 missions.
Sergeant Sanford told the parents of the Merkel gunner that he owed his life to their son, for on their sixth mission, when their plane was shot down over the English channel, Sergeant Ensminger rescued him. He also told the parts of Sergeant Ensminger or another time he had saved the life of one of the crew. In this case, the parachute of S.-Sgt. Robert Conlon, of Michigan, hung on the gun racks, when their plane was shot down, and the Merkel boy unhooked him and enabled him to bail out.
Mr. and Mrs. Ensminger also had another airman visit them in March, T.-Sgt. James C. Garvin, of Laurel, Miss., navigator-bombardier who had flown about 20 missions with their son.
Abilene Reporter News, Abilene, TX 4 Aug 1945
Wade H Ensminger Jr
Birth Year: 1921
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Texas
County or City: Taylor
Enlistment Date: 28 Jul 1942
Enlistment State: Texas
Enlistment City: Lubbock
Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of college
Civil Occupation: Fingerprinter or Pigeon Trainer (Fancier)
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946