4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 11, 2021 10:19 AM by Josette Schluter

    Seeking WW2 Missions of Leo J. Thornton

    Janice Abel Wayfarer

      Leo J. Thornton was on in WWII, Italy from November 1944 to April 1945.  He was from Boston, MA.  He was in 301st BG, 32nd squadron, 15th AAF but also participated in missions with other squadrons in Italy.   Some of these missions may have included William F. Sullivan, who was from Glenview, Ill (possibly Chicago, Ill) and also either a William Lawler or William Lawver?  Any information you have would be helpful. If anyone can identify the person on the right it would be appreciated.  I think his first name is William.

       

        • Re: Seeking WW2 Missions of Leo J. Thornton
          Elliot Schneider Ranger

          Janice,

           

          Here is information on William Lawver

           

           

          William Lawver

          Sgt William W Lawver was assigned to the 301st BG 352nd Squadron.

           

           

           

          The following information on William Lawver is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on Sgt Lawver. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to William Lawver's military record please contact us.

          DateOrderAwardRibbon & DeviceDocument OriginatorRankStatus

          08/21/1944

          General Order (GO)* : 2731

          AM Air Medal

          Air Medal (AM)

          Issuing Authority: 15th Air Force

          Current Rank: Sgt

           

          09/11/1944

          General Order (GO)* : 3284

          AM/1OLC Air Medal Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

          Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

          Issuing Authority: 15th Air Force

          Current Rank: Sgt

           

          10/01/1944

          General Order (GO)* : 3740

          AM/2OLC Air Medal Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

          Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

          Issuing Authority: 15th Air Force

          Current Rank: SSGT

           

           

           

           

          Here is some information on Leo Thorton.

           

           

           

          Leo Thornton

          S/Sgt Leo J Thornton was assigned to the 301st BG 32nd Squadron.

           

           

          Leo J. Thornton was from Hyde Park, Boston, MA and served in WWII . He was was awarded two Purple Hearts. He survived several plane crashes. He was injured during the war and walked with a cane. The story of this crash was actually told to the family one evening by the co-pilot of his plane who visited our home. Because he was injured during the war he walked with a cane. He was one of seven children, three of whom served in the war. He had just turned 17 in December when he was recruited at his high school. They said they would send diplomas to those who enlisted. My father and his brother were listed as missing in action for a long time during the war. He had three children and was the best father

           

           

          The following information on Leo Thornton is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on S/Sgt Thornton. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to Leo Thornton's military record please contact us.

          DateOrderAwardRibbon & DeviceDocument OriginatorRankStatus

          02/03/1945

          General Order (GO)* : 483

          AM Air Medal

          Air Medal (AM)

          Issuing Authority: 15th Air Force

          Current Rank: Sgt

           

          04/16/1945

          General Order (GO)* : 2420

          AM/1OLC Air Medal Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

          Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

          Issuing Authority: 15th Air Force

          Current Rank: SSGT

           

          * Documents are of the type/classification of "General Order" for most award documents. The listed documents are GO, General Order unless otherwise stated. For example. Special Orders.

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking WW2 Missions of Leo J. Thornton
              Janice Abel Wayfarer

              Thank you!  I'm trying to figure out if Leo Thornton and William Lawver or William Lawler? or William Sullivan were on any of the same missions.  Leo J. Thornton was on at a few missions that were not with the 32nd squadron from what I can tell.  Is there any documentation on this?  There should be three planes that were lost or crashed that he was on.  One crashed in Germany, one was landed with engine problems in Yugoslavia (all returned on another Cargo plane) and one crashed at the Lucera air base on April 12, 1945.  He also has a purple heart.  I believe for the crash in Germany he was flying with a different squadron that was in Italy at the same time.  Not sure if they have records like this.  I would like to update his profile if possible.   I know he received a Good conduct Metal and and Air metal, and a third metal received AM/10LC Air Medal Oak Leaf Cluster, General Order (GO)* 2420; Issuing Authority: 15th Air Force and a purple heart.  I have the number of the purple heart if that is needed to confirm.

              How do I update the list?

            • Re: Seeking WW2 Missions of Leo J. Thornton
              Josette Schluter Adventurer

              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub.

               

              We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled World War II Combat Operations Reports, 1941 - 1946 in the Records of the Army Air Forces ( Record Group 18) that includes the file unit titled 8th Air Force: 301st Bomb Group, which are arranged by date of mission. There are approximately 97 file units for 8th Air Force, 301st Bomb Group.  For more information about these non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

               

              In regards to photographs that may exist of Leo J. Thornton, any photographs of the U.S. Army Air Forces planes and aircrews are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov.

               

              Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from either reference group. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

               

              We hope that this information was helpful.