December 8, 1917 (Lime Rock, CT) – December 18, 2009 (Laconia, NH); 92 years old
Married to Mary Ann Ainsworth (1924-2001) on April 28, 1945, in Darien
Two daughters, Susan (1946-) and Sally Barnum Oak (1946-). One son, Peter (1950-).
Serial number 11040832 (enlisted) and O-1312470 (officer)
Enlisted on December 29, 1941
Unknown unit

Born to Richard N. (1876-1929) and Marion H. Cocks Barnum (1879-1967). Two brothers, John C. (1901-1972) and Richard N. Jr. (1910-1979). One sister, Eleanor Barnum Walbridge (1905-1998).

Attended Yale University, Class of ’39.

From, found in an unknown yearbook.

Held at Oflag 64 or 21B Schubin (Moved to Usedom) Poland, Altburgund 53-17..

From Worked for the Cortere Company (Distilled and Blended Liquors), lived in Cazenovia, NY, and also had a home in New Hampshire, where he died on December 18, 2009. From the time of his death until his burial, his ashes sat on the mantle in the home of his daughter, Sally Barnum Oak. He was buried July 18, 2012, in the Barnum family plot in Lime Rock, Connecticut. A color guard was provided because of his military service and time as a POW in Germany during WWII.

From The Norwalk Hour March 13, 1945

A two months period of anxiety during which she had no word from her son, Lieutenant William H. “Buz” Barnum, a prisoner of war in Germany, was pleasantly broken on Saturday for Mrs. Marian C. Barnum of Flax Hill Road, Norwalk-Darien town line when she received a War Department telegram telling of his release from a prisoner of war camp. The telegram sent by Adjutant General John A. Ulio contained the meager but happy information that word of the release had been received from the United States Military Mission in Moscow. It is believed here that Lieutenant Barnum’s camp was taken by the Russians in their drive toward Berlin. Mrs. Barnum immediately forwarded a cable to her son and is awaiting details. She had been particularly worried for her son had been moved from two camps within recent months and she had not been notified of his latest address. Lieutenant Barnum was reported as missing in action in France on September 13, but a few weeks later his mother was notified by the War Department that he was a prisoner of war in Germany. He enlisted in the Army as a private at the time of Pearl Harbor, 1941 later entered Officers’ Training School from where he was commissioned a lieutenant. He went overseas in the summer of 1944.

Extract from The Norwalk Hour April 11, 1945

A family in Norwalk is anticipating a happy reunion this weekend with a son in the service who this week returned from Europe where they were recently liberated from a German prisoner-of-war camp by the advancing Russians. Lieutenant William H. Barnum, son of Mrs. Marian C. Barnum of Flax Hill Road, Norwalk-Darien town line. He is now at the Boston Port of Embarkation and is expected home on Friday. Lieutenant Barnum wanted to know whether the circus had opened yet. On landing in Boston, he immediately sent a telegram to his mother, telling her how happy they are to be back in the “good old U.S.A.”

Burial is in the family plot in Lime Rock Cemetery, Lime Rock Road (Rt 112), Salisbury, Connecticut. The plot number is unknown.

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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