June 29, 1915 (New York, NY) – January 7, 1943; 27 years old
Last local address: 64 Winfield Street, East Norwalk
Enlisted on July 14, 1941
Serial Number: first 11010957, then O-437983
Unit: 97th Bomb Group, 341st Bomb Squadron
Born to Otto M. (1886-1955) and Jessie Goldstein (1893-1981). Brother David (1918-2003)
Working for the National Park Service at Mount Rainier, WA when he signed up for the draft.
Uncle Peter Goldstein died in World War I. Peter and Otto Goldstein Sr., Lt Goldstein’s father, were brothers.
Norwalk High School Class of 1932
There are conflicting reports of his cause of death. In one place he is listed “Died Non-Battle” in North Africa, yet there are newspaper articles that he went missing on a mission and never returned.
He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Force on July 14, 1941. He had enlisted and officer Army Serial Numbers. Easy to assume he entered into the pilot program and didn’t get commissioned until he received his wings.
From The Norwalk Hour December 13, 1941
Otto Goldstein of 64 Winfield Street graduated yesterday from the U.S. Army Air Corps training school at Randolph Field, Texas. The class had 254 student pilots, of whom, seven were residents of Connecticut. Ending the primary phase of their 30-week course on October 1, these aviation cadets had completed ten weeks of intensive flying training at civilian-operated elementary schools where they mastered the fundamentals of flying in rugged, low-powered airplanes. Sixty-five hours aloft were logged in this type of craft. Moving on to Randolph Field, the transition to the Air Corps’ speedy, the 450-horse-powered basic trainer was made and 70 additional hours were listed in their log books. Night flying, aerial acrobatics, cross country, instrument, and formation flying — all were included in this secondary or basic, ten-week period. Ground school subjects — radio code, weather, engine maintenance, and military law, have added to their skill as future officer-pilots. These cadets completed Randolph’s basic training schedule yesterday and will be ready for the final ten weeks at specialized Air Corps schools. There, they will learn to fly faster, more powerful airplanes. Cross-country hops of greater distances, whether solo or in formation, will be accomplished. Night navigation flights will be stressed. There they will prove that they have retained their aerial lessons of primary and basic flying training. Later, commissioned Second Lieutenants in the Air Corps Reserve and wearing the wings of a flying officer, they will go to duty with units of the Air Force Combat Command or be reassigned to training fields as instructors. The “West Point of the Air” has been the rallying point for the realization of the Air Forces’ schedule that calls for 30,000 trained military pilots this year. Its 550 officers and 3,500 enlisted mechanics have been the nucleus for what is now the Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Center which operates 21 flying training schools from its headquarters at Randolph Field. Forty-five hundred aviation cadets receive their basic flying training at the famed Air Corps school annually. New classes are assigned every five weeks and as they report, the upper class transfers to advanced or specialized schools. During the 30-week training period, aviation cadets are paid $75 monthly, plus food, clothing, quarters, and medical and dental care. After completing the course, pay jumps to $205 plus quarters, or $245 if quarters are not provided.
From The Norwalk Hour February 4, 1943
Although official confirmation from the War Department is still lacking, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Goldstein of 64 Winfield Street have sorrowful reason to believe their son, First Lieutenant Otto Goldstein, 27, with the United States Bomber Command in North Africa, has been killed in action. A letter has been received by the parents from Major Aquilla B. Hughes Jr., commander of the 351st Bombardier Squadron, dated January 17, 1943, which states in part “I and the entire squadron mourn the loss of Lieutenant Otto Goldstein Jr.” Lieutenant Goldstein is well known here. He was born in East Norwalk, attended local elementary schools, and graduated from Norwalk High School. He attended Connecticut State College after which he entered the United States Forestry Service. Lieutenant Goldstein enlisted in the service about 2 1/2 years ago and it was stated by his family today, he never had a furlough. He took preliminary flying training at Westover Field, Mass, and was sent to England. He was with the first contingent of the Bombardiers to leave England for the North African campaign. Hopeful that there may be a mistake, the parents of Lieutenant Goldstein, today asked former Congressman LeRoy D. Downs to seek further information through the War Department. An inquiry will be made.
From The Norwalk Hour June 29, 1943
Mr. and Mrs. Otto Goldstein, 64 Winfield Street, East Norwalk, are in receipt today of a letter from the War Department awarding the Air Medal, and two Oak Leaf Clusters, posthumously, to their son, First Lieutenant Otto Goldstein Jr. who met his death in North Africa on January 17, 1943. Today would have been Lieutenant Goldstein’s birthday anniversary. The War Department letter follows:
Mr. & Mrs. Otto Goldstein
64 Winfield Street, East Norwalk, Conn.
My dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein –
I have the honor to inform you that by direction of the President, the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters which indicates a second and third award of the same decoration, have been awarded posthumously, by the Commanding General Twelfth Air Force, to your son, First Lieutenant Otto Goldstein Jr., Air Corps for meritorious achievement. The Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters will be forwarded to Headquarters, Army Air Forces, Washington, DC, for formal presentation to you, and that office will communicate with you concerning your wishes in the matter. May I again express my deepest sympathy for your bereavement.
Very truly yours,
The Adjutant General
The late Lieutenant Goldstein was educated in the local schools and graduated from Connecticut State College where he was outstanding in athletics. While at college, he was twice named temporary ranger for the State of Washington by Secretary of the Interior Ickes and spent two summers with the Forestry Service in that capacity. Lieutenant Goldstein enlisted in June 1941 as a flying cadet and was assigned to the 341st Bomber Squadron. He received his wings at Foster Field, Texas on February 20, 1942, and left this country for England in July 1942, where he saw action until his squadron was transferred to North Africa in October of that year. He was actively engaged in that theater of war until the time of his death on January 17, 1943. Goldstein was the pilot of the fortress “Thunderbird” which was named for the ship’s radio operator. Lieutenant Goldstein had never been home on furlough from the time of his enlistment.
From The Norwalk Hour February 21, 1949
Funeral services for Lt. Otto Goldstein, son of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Goldstein, 64 Winfield Street, who was killed in North Africa on January 7, 1943, were largely attended Saturday afternoon at 2:30 in the Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Rev. William Schroeder, rector of the Christ Episcopal Church officiated. The bearers were: Sgt James Caputo, Corporal Hoyt, PFC James Ellis, Private Donald Wright, Private Joseph Nice, Private Conrad Miller, and Private Earl Barrett. Burial took place at Riverside Cemetery where committal services were conducted by Rev. Schroeder. There were many beautiful floral offerings.
Lt Goldstein is buried in Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section 18. Photo by webmaster.