March 15, 1924 (Norwalk, CT) – February 2, 1945; 23 years old
Last local address: 2 Woodbury Avenue, Norwalk
Enlisted June 24, 1942
Service number: 11072351
Unit: 124th Cavalry Regiment, Mass Task Force, F Troop
Born to Arthur E. (1896-1951) and Anna E. Reardon Wilbur [born in Canada] (1896-?). Two sisters, Barbara Wilbur Tanner (1928-1992) and Dawn J. Wilbur Griffin (1932-2002).
Officially “Died of Wounds” in Burma.
From The Norwalk Hour February 26, 1945
PFC Paul Wilmot Wilbur, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wilbur of Woodbury Avenue, died of wounds received in action on February 2 in Burma according to word received yesterday by his parents. PFC Wilbur, 20, enlisted in the Army in June 1942, shortly before he was to have graduated from Norwalk High School. He trained at Fort Ringgold, Texas, and also at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was sent overseas last June, a member of the 124th Cavalry Regiment attached to the Mars Force in Burma. Besides his parents, he is survived by two sisters, Barbara, and Dawn.
From The Norwalk Hour November 30, 1945
Gradually, the story of the great price that has been paid for our victory over Germany and Japan is being told. The general story of the panoramic sweeps of our armies across scores of battlefields is already known; it has been ably covered and reported. But the intimate story of the individual contributions which together added up to these great drives is only beginning to come out. In a letter from a buddy who was with him when he received his fatal wounds, we learn of the heroism of the late Paul Wilmot Wilbur, who died while fighting to open the Burma Road. This young soldier, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wilbur of 2 Woodbury Avenue, was wounded once, declined an opportunity to go to the rear for medical treatment, went on with his troop to knock out a pillbox, and sustained a second wound, which proved fatal. The heroic service he gave his country between the time he was first wounded and the time he was hit again, was part of our margin of victory. As the years roll on, we shall learn of other major contributions in the dim area of the front where the issues of the war were settled personally between our combat men and those of the enemy. We have just cause to feel pride in the success of our armed forces. They were intelligently assembled, thoroughly trained, and brilliantly directed. All who served in them have a claim on our gratitude. But the men who paid the supreme part of the price, the men who died in action, shall be our creditors eternally. Each one died an individual death. Each action, even those in which “casualties were light,” added to the sum total of individual deaths. Let us always remember, with gratitude, and with great humility, the individuals who paid, as individuals, the great, painful, and total share of the price of our victory.
Private Wilbur is buried in The National Cemetery of the Pacific, 2177 Puowaina Dr, Honolulu, Hawaii; Section B, Site 1223. Photo from findagrave.com.