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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
State: 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: Private
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
Height: 68
Weight: 135

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946

Wade Ensminger

Wade Ensminger died over 65 years ago and like so many other young men during that war might have been forgotten, however this has not happened. My father was a crew member with Wade and always seemed to have great sorrow in his eyes whenever we came across a picture of Wade when going through old war photos. Because I had witnessed my fathers reaction to Wade's photo more than once, I begain searching to find out more about Wade and in the process came in contact with the son of another crew member who was also searching to find more about him. It seemed that the men that Wade served with had never forgotten him and one had in fact had named his own son in honor of Wade. I think that this is an indication of what a great person Wade must have been to have earned the everlasting respect of those who fought with him. I can't think of any better way to honor Wade than to make sure that my sons and grandchildren all know of his name and the story of how he fought and died for his country. I hope that anyone reading this will do the same. Wade did not live long enough to know the joys of having a wife and family and there are no sons or daughters to tell his story. RRC

Sgt Wade Ensminger

My Name is Roger Feller from Luxembourg. We found the crashsite of Wade Ensminger plane .It crashed on 25th of December 1944 at Pratz Luxembourg.
We now work 70 years later on a Memorial for Sgt Ensminger. We would like to invite relativ or Frieds to this ceremony. Could y

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