Oscar Leland Wertz
Date of Birth: July 5, 1918
Place of Birth: Kansas
Father and Mother’s Names: Ray and Amy Wertz
Spouse and Children’s names: Leah Anna Marek Cox (wife), stillborn daughter 1943.
Date Entered Service: September 6, 1940
Service Branch: Army Air Corps
Rank/Specialty: Captain, Pilot, B-25C Bomber "M&M".
Service ID: 4112962
Division/Company/Unit info: 90th Bombardment Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group, 5th Air Force.
Riley Connection: 1940 U.S. Census shows Oscar (Leland) living with his grandparents at 1030 Bluemont Ave. in Manhattan.
Date of Death (and Age): July 23, 1943 (age 25) - KIA (Killed in Action)
Place of Death: Plane crashed near Assens Kommune, Syddanmark, Denmark.
Grave Location: Wichita Park Cemetery, Wichita,Kansas - plot memorial D, lot 20, space 4.
Bio: The 1939 city directory shows Oscar (Leland) as working at the Sunflower Creamery, and the 1940 U.S. Census shows Oscar (Leland) as living with his grandparents on Bluemont Ave. and working as a waiter at a drug store. Oscar (Leland) attended KSC and was a member of Kappa Sigma. According to information on Pacificwrecks.com, Oscar (Leland) was the captain of a B-25C. On July 23, 1943, the B-25C was part of a mission to attack Japanese naval targets off the coast of New Guinea. The plane crashed near Hanish Harbor, Finschhafen during a bombing run on a stranded barge. The plane pulled up too late and clipped an engine on the barge causing the plane to crash.