He enlisted in the USAAF in Chicago, Illinois (enl. # 160000992) on 15 August 1940. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools at Maxwell Field, Alabama, then M.I.A., Jackson, Mississippi, and Napter Field, Dothan, Alabama, and earned his commission and fighter pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China in July 1943. On 26 June 1944 a P-40N-5, # 104936, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, was in a mid-air collision about 10 miles North of SH-5. The pilot was 2ndLt Donald K. Overend, # 0-694260. South of Hokiashan P-51s flying top cover descended to bomb some boats and 2ndLt. Overend, in a P-40, climbed sharply, cutting the tail off a P-51 piloted by 1stLt. Paul J. Tessmann. Both aircraft broke and started burning. They crashed near Hengshan, Hunan, China. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Sec. MJ, Site 5). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.