PARKER continued.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart Medal.

14 December 1943 - Moberly Monitor - Kansas City Dec. 14 (AP) - Lt. Merrill R. Parker, 22, Liberator bomber pilot, had his leave delayed so he culd "get in a few more cracks" at the enemy upon learning that his brother was missing in action. He accomplished his mission, but now he is missing in action, too. His parents said Merrill had obtained postponement of his leave for 2 months. After his letter was received, the War Department told them Merrill was lost in a raid in Burma on December 1.

High School

Senior, Purdue University

Pratt E. Parker

WENTZ, ROY ALBERT, JR., First Lieutenant, # 0-659938, USAAF

 

Born 20 November 1919 in Springfield, Illinois, to Roy Albert Wentz (1886-1974) and Mina L. (Regnold) Wentz (1890-1980). He had a sibling, Harriett E. Wentz (1915-1978).  The 1920 census shows the family living in Springfield, IL, when he was 1 month old, his sister was five years old. The 1930 census shows them in Springfield, his father a high school teacher. A 1934 directory shows them living at 1513 So. 6th, Springfield, IL. A yearbook for 1937 Springfield H.S.; Preparatory Orchestra, Delphics, Senior Boy’s Council, Cafeteria Council, Hi-Y and Delphic Debate team. In 1938, his father was assistant principal of Central High School. The 1940 census shows the family living at 1513 South 6th, Springfield, IL; his father was 53, and the Dean of Boys at a public school, his mother, 49, his sister, 25 and a stenographer, and he was 20 and had attended college at Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL, majoring in economics, where he was freshman secretary on the student body, on the athletic board of control, in the “I” Club (organized athletics, on the golf team, helped gain a new gym or the school, accolades included Sigma Pi 3, 4; Critic 4; I Club 3, 4; Illinois College Republicans 3, 4; President 4; Forum; Senior Ball Chairman; International Relations Club 2, 3; and Football Manager, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

He enlisted 3 November 1941 in Peoria, Illinois, with four years of college. Sent overseas after training as a navigator, he was assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Squadron. He survived the downing of the B-24J Liberator by enemy aircraft and was a POW from 1 December 1943 to May, 1945, liberated from the Rangoon Cantonment. He died 16 November 2003, in Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware.

At 55 years, his father registered for the WW II draft (had also registered for the WW I draft), born 15 July 1886 in Sullivan, IL, and worked at the Springfield High School. Roy A Wentz Jr. married Phyllis Norbury (1921-2003) and they had three daughters and a son. In 1993, they were living at 101 Dexter Road, Wilmington, Delaware, and were there when he passed away.

17 May 1936 - The Decatur Daily Review - Roy Wentz was elected president of the Milliken Athletic Association. He had already been named business manager of the 1912 Millidek.

10 May 1942 - The Decatur Herald - Roy Wentz Jr., of Springfield received his wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant in the USAAF at Kelly Field, Texas. He was transferred to Tucson, AZ. He graduated from Springfield H.S. in 1937 and from Illinois Colege in 1941.