S/Sgt. William H. Wylie (POW)
|Full Name:||William H. Wylie|
|Function:||flight engineer / top turret gunner|
|Birth date & Place:||not available|
|Residence:||Allegheny County, Pennsylvania|
|Education:||3 years of high school education|
|Family:||Moulton Wylie (father), Muryl Wylie (mother), Joan Z. Wylie (Wife); Carol Wylie (daughter, )Stephen Wylie (Son), daughter-in-law, Patricia Castee (daughter-in-law), of New York City.|
|Award:||Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal ,POW medal, Air Medal with three bronze clusters, three bronze stars American Campaign Medal,European-African-Middel Eastern Campaign Medal,World War II Victory Medal. Gunner badge, Flight Engineer specialist.|
|Cemetery:||Mount Lebanon Cemetery Mount Lebanon Allegheny County Pennsylvania, USA http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=153892170|
|Date of death:||Oct. 6, 2015|
|Place of Death:||Mount Lebanon Allegheny County Pennsylvania, USA|
|Mission data:||Date: 10 January 1945 Mission: 241 Serialnumber: 43-38668 Callsign: BI-T Type: B17-G Date: 10 January 1945 Destination/Mission: Bombing Bridges Cologne afterwards inflight mission changed to bombing bridges Neuss Mission: Bombing bridges. MACR: 11580|
|Status:||POW ( Stalag VIIA in Moosburg)|
William H. Wylie was a Staff Sergeant in the Army during World War II. William resided in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania before enlisting on July 9, 1943. At the time of enlistment,
William was 18 years old, had 3 years of high school education and was single, without dependents. Two years later,am was returned to military control, liberated or repatriated.
William H. Wylie, who worked at the Pittsburgh Press for nearly 30 years and was business editor in the 1970s and early 1980s, died at his home in Mt. Lebanon on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.
In his reporting for the Press, Mr. Wylie interviewed national and local business leaders and covered Pittsburgh's transition from a major steel producer to a center for healthcare and high tech industries. At the time, the Press was one of Scripps-Howard's major afternoon dailies and had the second largest circulation in Pennsylvania behind only the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mr. Wylie joined the Press in 1955 as a copy editor and subsequently became telegraph editor, Sunday news editor and real estate editor before assuming responsibility for the paper's business coverage. Although he interviewed national figures such as David Rockefeller and all of Pittsburgh's leading business executives, he was always eager to promote and write about local entrepreneurs and the small business scene. During his career at the Press, he won two Golden Quill Awards for his business writing. He was also a member of the fast-shrinking Greatest Generation.
Wylie was a World War II veteran who flew 23 missions as flight engineer and top turret gunner on a B17 crew. His plane was shot down over Dusseldorf, Germany and he spent the last six months of the war as a POW until being liberated from Stalag VIIA in Moosburg, Germany.
At the time he was liberated, the camp held 70,000 Allied soldiers, and Mr. Wylie was fond of telling how he almost literally run into General George Patton who was inspecting the camp. "I gave him the best salute I ever gave," Wylie said.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joan Z. Wylie; and his daughter, Carol Wylie, of Mt. Lebanon; his son, Stephen Wylie; and daughter-in-law, Patricia Casteel, of New York City.
Funeral services were held private. Burial was in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery.
Memorial donations suggested be made to the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Diagnostic Center, 200 Lothrop St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, or to Family Hospice and Palliative Care, 50 Moffett St., Pittsburgh, PA 15243 or to Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, 1146 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE (412-563-2800), 1650 Greentree Road, Scott Township, entrusted with arrangements.
(Published in Pittsburgh Tribune Review from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, 2015)
(Enlisted Men & Air Force Officer Evacuees)
Opened: In September 1939
POW Strength: Was the camp for USAAF NCOs until 13 October 1943 when all 1,900 were transferred to Stalag 17B. As Germany collapsed in the spring of 1945, it became the final gathering place for 7,948 officers and 6,944 enlisted men moved in from other POW camps.
Camp Description: Camp was a square divided into three main compounds which were subdivided into small stockades. Seven guard towers and a double barbed wire fence formed the camp's perimeter.
[map courtesy of Moosburg Online: Stalag VII A (http://www.stalag.moosburg.org).]
- Nordlager Compound - Held newly arrived POWs for two days while they were searched, medically examined and deloused.
- Suedlager Compound - Held only Russians
- Hauptlager Compound - Held POWs of other nationalities - French, Polish, Jugoslav (Serbs), British and some Americans.
Barracks were rectangular wood building divided into A & B sections by a central room used for washing and eating. POWs slept on triple-deck wooden bunks with gunny sack mattresses filed with excelsior. Gradually the number of men per barracks increased from 180 to 400. Men slept on tables, floors and on the ground. The barracks had no heat and were damp, cold and unhealthful.
Man of Confidence (MOC): S/Sgt Kenneth J. Kurtenbach, 360thBS/303rd BG(H) Tail Gunner, shot down on 12 December 1942 on 303rd BG(H) mission #6 to Rouen, France, became the MOC (Enlisted Man Camp Leader) at Stalag 7A and later at Stalag 17B. He performed invaluable counseling to newly arrived POWs, helped in escape plans and forwarded serious complaints to the German Commanders. He was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal after his liberation.
Transfers from Stalag 7A to Stalag 17B: 13 October 1943 1,900 American NCOs were moved to Stalag 17B
Influx into Stalag 17B from Stalag 3: On 2 February 1945, 2,000 Officers from Stalag 3 (South Compound) reached Stalag 7A. On 7 February 1945, 2,000 Officers from Stalag 3 (Center Compound) reached Stalag 7A. They were placed in the Nordlager Compound and then moved to the main camps. While in the Nordlager Compound no facilities were provided for washing, sanitation, cooking and only straw spread over the barrack floors served as bedding. In the main camp, over 300 men were housed in barracks normally holding fewer than 200. In early April 1945 POWs from other camps throughout Germany evacuated to the vicinity of Stalag 7A. This new influx brought about a period of unbelievable overcrowding and confusion. Members of the former Stalag 3 South Compound were moved into the enclosure occupied by men from the Stalag 3 Center Compound. 4,000 men then lived in an area that had been unable to support 2,000. Large tents were erected in whatever space was available and straw was provided for bedding.
Liberation: On 19 April 1945 selected men from Stalag 7A drove in an American Red Cross car to the American lines asking that an area of a few kilometers around the Moosburg area be declared a neutral zone. The proposal was rejected by the American Commanding General and a 2 1/2 hour war for Moosburg started. Several shells hit one of the camp barracks injuring 12 guards and killing one. On 29 April 1945 Combat Team A of the 14th Armored Division appeared at the camp entrance. The unresisting guards were disarmed and the camp was liberated. The American flag went up at Moosburg at 12:15 PM. At 1:45 PM jeeps and tanks rolled into the camp and received a deafening ovation.