Elwood O. Wells (1917-1944)
Elwood Osgood Wells was born in Epsom on August 20, 1917 to Walter Brackett Wells and Sophronia M. Yeaton. He attended Epsom Schools and graduated on June 19, 1931. He then went on to Pembroke Academy where he played baseball, played cornet in the orchestra and participated in prize speaking contests., winning one such event in 1933. Elwood also appeared in plays at Pembroke before graduating June 20, 1935. He next attended the University of New Hampshire where he was a member of the cross country team, member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, American Society of Civil Engineers, the Scabbard and Blade Honor Society and the ROTC.
It was June 2, 1941, following his junior yer at UNH, that he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces, entering Parks Air College in St. Louis, Illinois. By September he advances to Aviation Cadet at Randolph Field in Texas, then being transferred to an advanced flying school in November at Victoria, Texas. Mr. Wells was commissioned a Lieutenant in January of 1942 and began instructing cadets at Enid, Oklahoma. On January 14, 1943, back at Durham, NH, he married Miss Dorothy Head of Epping, NH, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Head. On June 2 of that year he was shipped over seas as part of the India-China Transport Service. While he was overseas, the birth of a daughter, Kathleen Mildred Wells, took place January 7, 1944 in Exeter, NH.
Excerpts from Newspaper Clippings:
EPSOM OFFICER MISSING AS HE STARTS LEAVE
Pilot Scheduled to Return Home from India Base
EPSOM, Sept. 1, (1944) - Last week Capt. Elwood O. Wells, 27, wrote to his father, Walter B. Wells, Center Barnstead, that he was starting home on leave Aug. 25.
Today the father has been informed by the War Department that his son has been missing since that date. This morning the father did not know whether his son was lost on his last flight with the Air Transport Command or on his homeward journey.
Capt. Wells was a pilot in the India-China area, based in North India, and had been making every other day flights.
His wife, Dorothy Head Wells, and their daughter, Kathleen, whom he has never seen, live in Epping.
Captain Wells was making a flight from a base in India to China over "the hump," the Himalaya mountains, with supplies and did not return. It is beleived by his family that this was his final scheduled flight before he was to start home on leave.
EPSOM HONOR CAPTAIN WELLS, KILLED IN ASIA
Bombers Dip in Salute To Flier Lost in Himalayas.
EPSOM, Oct. 10 (1944) - A memorial service for Capt. Elwood O. Wells was held Sunday afternoon at the New Rye church. The church was crowed with his relatives, friends and neighnbors. A volley was fired over the Wells lot in the New Rye cemetery, and the bugle call "taps" was played following prayers. Two Liberators from Grenier Field flew over the cemetery, dipping their wings in salute. The body of Capt. Wells lies with his plane where it crashed in the Himalaya mountains on Aug. 25. Flowers were placed on the grave of Capt. Wells' mother, Mrs. Sophronia Y. Wells.
FAMILY AWAITS BODY OF WELLS
BARNSTEAD, May 15 (1948) - Word has been recieved by Walter B. Wells of Center Barnstead that the body of his con, Capt. Elwood Wells, is being returned home from Honolulu, aboard the army transport Cardinal O'Connor.
Capt. Wells served in the Air Transport Command in the India-China Wing in 1943-44, where on Aug. 25 just five days following his birthday anniversary he was killed in action on his 150th mission over the Himalyan mountains. He was the holder of the air medal, distinguished flying cross and a presidential citation.. Capt. Wells will be buried in the New Rye cemetery at Epsom.
A memorial service was held on Oct. 8, 1944 with burial June 5, 1948. The American Legion Post #112 is named in honor of Elwood O. Wells.
SCRAPBOOK - Elwood O. Wells