|Captain John Claus flew A-36 Apaches in Italy with the 526th Fighter Bomber Squadron.|
John G. Claus never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 15, 1918 in Illinois. His parents John and Rosy were born in Indiana and Ohio, respectively. His father worked as a railroad laborer and later as a locomotive engineer. John had two younger sisters. By 1940 John had completed three years of college and was living at home.
He enlisted in the Army on January 13, 1942 and volunteered for the Army Air Forces. He became a captain and operations officer in the 526th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 86th Fighter Bomber Group, 12th Air Force. Captain Claus flew A-24 Banshees and A-36 Apaches. The squadron's main role was to provide air support for the Allied ground troops in Sicily and Italy.
Operating out of Serretella Airfield, in Italy, Captain Claus was part of a mission to Nepi, Italy on October 28, 1943. The flight he was with was jumped by 20 Me 109s. The Americans claimed three downed enemy fighters. During the dogfight, Captain Claus went missing in action near Civita, Castellano. His remains were identified at a later time. He was recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross but I don't know if it was ever presented.
His grave is at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
Last year on this date I profiled George Marcum, 7th Armored Division. You can read about George 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