March 25, 1916 (Norwich, CT) – December 15, 1998 (Indialantic, FL); 82 years old
Married to Dorothy Anne Dearing
Local address: 9 Rowayton Avenue and 9 Crockett, Rowayton
Enlisted on June 3, 1941
Serial number: 33094430 (Enlisted) and O-689713
351ST BOMB GROUP, 509TH BOMB SQUADRON
Held in German POW camp Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12.
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
Missing Air Crew Report # 3863
Date: April 14, 1944
Location: Schweinfurt, Germany
Aircraft type: B-17G
Aircraft serial number: 42-37827
Crash details: One hour before the target, the formation was attacked by six ME-109s, which succeeded in blowing off half of the right stabilizer. Forced to drop out of formation, but was able to pull up into position again. Did this several times. About 5 minutes before ‘bombs away’ he salvoed his bombs. When over the target, the left the formation and started to descend.
Crew of 42-37827
2nd Lt Gilbert W. Whitchurch, Pilot, Kingfisher OK, POW
2nd Lt Eugene Sylvester, Co-Pilot, Kansas City MO, POW
2nd Lt Newton C. Wilbur, Navigator, Washington DC (wife), POW
2nd Lt Richard M. Cox, Bombardier, Waterloo IL, KIA
SSgt Frederick W. Gowen, Top Turret Gunner, Westbrook ME, POW
Sgt Andrew Boyarko Jr., Radio Operator/Gunner, Strothers OH, POW
Sgt Frederick R. Vester, Left Waist Gunner, Cincinnati OH, POW
Sgt Maurice W. Turner, Right Waist Gunner, St. Petersburg, FL, POW
Sgt Donal F. Luse Jr., Ball Turret Gunner, Ford City PA, POW
Sgt Robert Mondragon, Tail Gunner, Mercedes TX, POW
9 of 10 crew survived. Lt Cox’s chute failed to fully open and was killed.
From The Norwalk Hour April 27, 1944
LOST IN BOMBER OVER GERMANY
Lieutenant Newton Wilbur, Son Of Salvation Army Commandant, Gone Since April 13
Lieutenant Newton C. Wilbur, U.S. Army Air Force, son of Mrs. Anna Wilbur Gullage, Salvation Army Commandant, of 9 Crockett Street, Rowayton, and a brother of Reverend Carrie Wilbur Wood of Ferris Avenue, is reported today as missing in action since April 13. Lieutenant Wilbur was a navigator on a bomber operating from England and is presumed to have been lost over Germany or German-occupied countries. He has been overseas only a short time. First word that Lieutenant Wilbur was missing was received from the War Department by his brother, Captain Paul D. Wilbur, Army Chaplain, at his home in Washington, D. C., where he was on furlough from Lowry Field Base Hospital in Denver, Colorado. He notified his mother. Lieutenant Wilbur entered the Army in 1942 as a private and then became an aviation cadet. He trained at the Chico Flying Field in California, the San Marcos Army Air Field at San Marcos, Texas, and the Army air Field at Santa Ana, California. Captain Paul Wilbur, before becoming a Chaplain, was rector of St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Washington D.C.
From The Norwalk Hour May 19, 1944
LIEUTENANT NEWTON WILBUR IS PRISONER OF WAR
Lieutenant Newton C. Wilbur, U.S. Army Air Force, son of Mrs. Anna Wilbur Gullage, Salvation Army Commandant of 9 Crockett Street, Rowayton, and a brother of Reverend Carrie Wilbur Wood of Ferris Avenue, who was reported as missing on April 18, is a prisoner of war according to word from the War Department. Lieutenant Wilbur’s wife of Washington, D.C., received word last night and relayed the news to Norwalk relatives. Lieutenant Wilbur was a navigator on a bomber operating from England which apparently was downed over Germany or German-occupied countries.
From The Norwalk Hour October 13, 1944
A card from Lieutenant Newton C. Wilbur, prisoner of war in Lufft 3, Germany, was received today by his sister, Reverend Carrie Wilbur Wood of Ferris Avenue. It was dated July 9 and is as follows:
“Howdy Sis – I believe this is the second time I have ever written to you, but I promise to do better in the future. I am getting very fat and lazy just lying around in the sun and taking life easy. Never thought I could afford such a vacation. Pay for us and keep your chin up. NEWTON.
From The Norwalk Hour June 18, 1945
Lieutenant Newton C. Wilbur of the Army Air Forces, son of Mrs. Anna Wilbur Gullage, Salvation Army Commandant, of 9 Crockett Street, Rowayton, and a brother of Reverend Carrie Wilbur Wood, who had been a German prisoner since April 1944, when he was shot down over Germany, has returned to this country his family learned today. Lieutenant Wilbur is enroute to Washington D.C. to join his wife and expects to come to Norwalk within the next two weeks.
From The Norwalk Hour March 7, 1949
LOCAL RESIDENT ORDAINED DEACON
Newton C. Wilbur Presented by Brother, Paul, Dean of Kentucky Diocese
Alexandria, VA – Newton Clarence Wilbur, 32, of Norwalk, Connecticut, was ordained to the diaconate of the Protestant Episcopal Church recently in the chapel of the Virginia Seminary by the Right Reverend William R. Moody, bishop of the diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Wilbur, who, has been studying at the Virginia Seminary for the past three years, was presented by the Very Reverend Paul D. Wilbur, dean of the diocese of Lexington and rector of Trinity Church, Covington, Kentucky. Concluding the ordination sermon, Dean Wilbur injected a dramatic personal note into the service. Speaking to his brother in the traditional charge to new deacons, he remarked that the text for the sermon had been selected in April 1944, when he had heard that his brother had been shot down in action. Dean Wilbur said he had been confident then that his brother, in spite of the report, would be found and would enter the ministry. Addressing the four other ordinates who were made deacons in the same service, he bid them take care for their motto the words of Christ, “Be ye perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” In accordance with the historic practice of the Episcopal Church, Mr. Wilbur will serve as deacon for six months or more before being ordained to the priesthood. The Reverend Mr. Wilbur is the son of the late Eleanor W. Wilbur and Anna Wilbur Gullage, of Norwalk, Connecticut. He attended George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and served as a navigator with the Army Air Force from 1941 to 1945. He was a candidate for the ministry from Trinity Church, Covington, Kentucky.
Buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA; Section 68, grave 2842. Photo from ancxeplorer.army.mil.