WINDERL, FRANCIS CLARE, Staff Sergeant, # 19019299, USAAF
Francis C. Winderl was born in 1919 in Montana to Theodore Felix Winderl (1883-1952) and Blanche Margaret (Rouse) Winderl (1892-1987). His father was issued a deed to land (he was a farmer) on 1 August 1912 in Valley County, Montana (Township 028 Noth, Range 040 East). The 1920 census shows the family in Valley County, Montana, and includes the parents and Joseph P., William R., and Francis C. In 1930, the census shows siblings Joseph Paul Winderl (1915-1958), William R. Winderl (1917-1986), George Russell Winderl (1921-2013), Stephen Anthony Winderl (1923-1995) (married Anelia Bernice Holden, born 17 August 1927, in Pawhuska, OK – father Sherman R. Holden, mother Bessie (Rogers) Holden – in Fort Benton, Chouteau Co., Montana on 18 November 1950), Charles Edward Winderl (1927- ) (married Edna (Keeler) nee Heege on 8 July 1978 in Lewis & Clark County, Montana – she was born 7 March 1934 in Marshalltown, Iowa, to L. Harvey Keeler and Bertha (Pagel) Keeler – she divorced Floyd Hegge 4 August 1977) and Louis Arthur Winderl (1928-2000) (Louis married Ileen Sletten, born 28 July 1934 in Scobey. Montana – father John Sletten, mother Ruth M. (Barnes) Sletten – on 13 July 1951, in Scobey, Daniels Co., Montana- Ileen died 10 November 1995; they were survived by three sons and two daughters).
Brother Joseph P. Winderl, born 30 August 1915, enlisted in the U.S. Army on 24 February 1941 in Spokane Co., Washington, and served until 12 December 1945 (service # 39450366), in the 163rd Infantry Regiment, AT Co. – he died 8 December 1958 and is buried in the Glasgow Highland Cemetery, Glasgow, Montana. Brother William R. Winderl, born 28 July 1917, served during WW II in the U.S. Navy from 3 November 1942 through 15 December 1945. Brother Steven A. Winderl, born 30 June 1923, served during WW II in the U.S. Navy from 9 April 1943 through 5 February 1946. He died 14 December 1995 and is buried in the Lincoln Gulch Cemetery, Lincoln, Montana. Brother Charles E. Winderl, born 30 April 1926, served in The U.S. Navy from 22 November 1944 through 26 June 1946, during WW II and died 11 November 2005 (buried in the Glasgow Cemetery).
His father, Theodore F. Winderl, registered for the WW I draft, at age 35, born 11 February 1883, res. Avondale, Valley Co., Montana, farmer, describing himself as tall, medium build, gray hair and blue eyes. His father registered for the WW II draft as well on 27 April 1942, at age 59, showing DOB of 11 Feb., 1883, in Sumner, Iowa, describing himself as 5’11”, 165 lbs, gray hair with blue eyes. His paternal grandfather and grandmother, John Baptist Winderl (1844-1917) (immigrated in 1881, naturalized 28 Mar., 1899) and Barbara Ida (Knorr) Boyer (2nd husband, Andrew Boyer) nee Winderl, immigrated in 1874 (1855-1931), were born in Germany. Theodore Felix Winderl, father of Francis C. Winderl, had five siblings, Anna M. “Annie” (Winderl) Kein (1874-1929), John Joseph Winderl (1876-1951), Margaret (Winderl) Mack (1878-1941), Theresa Martha (Winderl) Hutchinson (1880-1953) and Elizabeth Winderl (1885-1912). His maternal grandparents, William A. Rouse (1854-1931) and Susan B. (Gardner) Rouse (1855-1931) (died six weeks apart) were born in Illinois.
He was a radio operator-gunner in the B-25J Liberator downed by enemy aircraft fire on 1 December 1943, assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Squadron, 10th Air Force, after bombing the railway yards and shops at Insein, Burma. He was missing in action and was declared dead by Public Law on 4 February 1946. His body was never recovered. He was awarded the Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Purple Heart.