WINTER, AMBROSE VICK, JR., Captain, 0-413548, USAAF

 

Ambrose Vick “Dobber” Winter, Jr., was born 2 February 1919 in Pecos, Reeves County, Texas, to Ambrose Vick Winter (1882-1952) and Isabella J. (Irwin) Winter (1879-1962). His siblings included Ward Rankin Winter (1910-1951), and William Irwin Winter (1913-1973). He married Virginia Jo Holland (1921-2012).

 

He enlisted on 9 September 1940 at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas (enlisted service # 18014499). On 2 July 1943, at about 1315 hours, a B-24D, # 41-23747, departed Bishnupur, India, on a bombing mission to Rangoon, Burma. Captain Vick Avery was pilot. The weather was reported as very rough with poor visibility. The bomber and crew were assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 436th Bombardment Squadron. It was last sighted by 1stLt Robert J. Clarke, 0-431388, 1stLt Robert G. Brittenbach, 0-659652, and 1stLt Henry W. Gilmer, Jr., 0-440853. 1stLt Clarke wrote, “It was last seen in formation with five other bombers entering a cloud bank. After fifteen minutes, the formation broke into the clear and only five aircraft could be accounted for. After another fifteen minutes, a crew hear, “Any B-24D for Help.” The call was answered but received no reply. An enemy fighter, type I45 (Kawasaki Toryu, for “Dragon Slayer,” allied name “Nick”), made an attack on a plane in the formation (not the missing bomber) and this was included to show there were enemy aircraft nearby.” Two search missions were flown. Called off because of poor weather.

The bomber did not emerge from clouds with the other five on the mission. Enemy fighters were seen in the area; one attacked one of the B-24s. The bomber was not found. He is remembered on wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. The family placed a memorial marker in the Elm Grove Cemetery, Alpine, Texas.