Joseph B. Welle, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on March 6, 1918 in Illinois. His mother Blanche also born in Illinois and father Joe senior was born in New York. His father worked as an electric sign salesman. Joseph had one younger brother born in 1921. By 1940 Joe junior was a student in college with three years completed.
He enlisted in the navy and trained to be a carrier pilot with the rank of ensign. While in training in El Paso, Texas he was killed when his F2A-3 Buffalo crashed on February 19, 1942.
Brother Jack followed Joe's example and also became a carrier pilot after Joe died. As a lieutenant he earn the Distinguished Flying Cross and an accompanying Gold Star. He destroyed at least three and a half Japanese planes.
Joseph Welle's grave is at Woodland Memorial Park in Joliet, Illinois.
Brother Jack was called back to active service in 1950, this time flying from the carrier USS Boxer during the Korean War. Lt. Jack Welle died on May 27, 1952 when his fighter jet crashed near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also buried at Woodland Memorial Park. Their mother Blanche, a double Gold Star mother and a recent widow, lived until 1974.
Last year on this date I profiled Dale Jones, 43rd Infantry Division. You can read about Dale here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100