Date of Birth: December 6, 1918
Place of Birth: Manhattan, Kansas
Father and Mother’s Names: George and Helen Schneider
Spouse's Name: Eva Schneider
Date Entered Service: March 5, 1941 - in Peoria, Illinois.
Service Branch: Army Air Corps
Service Number: 1013158
Rank: 1st Lieutenant (left gunner), B-29 Superfortress.
Division/Company/Unit info: 792nd Bomber Squadron, 468th Bomber Group, 20th Bomber Command.
Awards and Commendations: Purple Heart, Navigator Wings, Distinguished Unit Citation, Air Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 battle stars.
Riley Connection: The 1920 U.S. Census shows the Schneider family living in Manhattan Township, and the 1930 U.S. Census shows the family living at 715 Fremont Street. Waldo grew up in Manhattan and graduated from Manhattan High School.
Date of Death (and Age): December 7, 1944 (age 26).
Place of Death: Somehwere over China.
Grave Location: Body never recovered. Memorial marker at Sunset Cemetery, Manhattan, KS.
Bio: Waldo was the nephew of Mrs. Lucille Funk of Peoria, Illinois, and was working at Caterpillar Tractor Co., and was with the 130th National Guard Unit before he enlisted in Peoria on March 5, 1941 as a Sergeant and was able to get his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and was in an Armour Division before he transferred to the Air Corps as a future Navigator.
1st Lieutenant Schneider served in the Army Air Corps in the 468th Bombardment Group, which was established at the Smoky Hill Army Airfield in Kansas. The unit used B-29s and engaged in heavy bombardment operations against the Japanese in the China-Burma-India Theatre. He was the left gunner on B-29 serial 42-6389 "Party Girl." December 7, 1944, they took part in a mission to the Mukden aircraft factory from forward base in Pengshan, China. Waldo was returning from the raid when his plane crashed into the side of a mountain. The pilot was Calvin L Lyons. The official description: Failed to return from the mission and was contacted 1 hour and 15 minutes from A-7 (Pengshan). The element leader contacted 42-6389 and told Aircraft Commander Lt. Lyons to break up formation in order to start descent through the undercast. 42-6389 answered back and started a 360-degree turn, which is normal procedure for aircraft flying in the #3 position. The element leader started a descent into the undercast but upon finding that ice was beginning to form on the wings very quickly decided to climb above the undercast and make a quick descent in the general area of A-7. 42-6389 was never seen again after starting the 360-degree turn.
Crew members lost in crash:
1. Pilot- Lyons, Calvin L.-1st. Lt.
2. Co-Pilot-Sybesma, Lawrence-2nd Lt.
3. Navigator-Schneider, Waldo B.-1st. Lt.
4. Bombardier-Bucher, John A.-1st. Lt.
5. Flight Engineer-Smith, James W.-1st. Lt.
6. Radar Operator-Bodart, Neuman A.-S/Sgt.
7. Radio Operator-Micciche, Joseph-S/Sgt.
8. Senior Gunner-Jackson, William B.-S/Sgt.
9. Right Gunner-Aldieri, Sisto A.-S/Sgt.
10. Left Gunner-Fink, LaVern A.-S/Sgt.
11. Tail Gunner-Peters, Russell W.-S/Sgt.
NOTE: James Smith & William Jackson were the only soldiers recovered from the crash. They are buried in the Punchbowl Pacific National Cemetery, Oahu, Hawaii. Interred on 1/6/1949