Harry Wold, P-38 Pilot, Danny Wilson’s Best Friend

Harrison E. Wold (1923-2005)

15th Air Force, 14th Fighter Group, 37th Fighter Squadron–P-38 pilot

A crowded Liberty Ship with hundreds of troops, fourteen pilots, including Lt. Dan Wilson and Lt. Harry Wold, and five new P-38s sailed for Europe in October 1944.

Harry wrote his fiancee Jeanne, “Laid around in the sun all day, talking with Danny Wilson, a kid from Iowa. Met him at Santa Rosa. He’s really a good kid, doesn’t smoke, drink, or run around with wild women. He’s a lot like Youtz, which makes him one of the two nicest fellows I’ve known.”

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When they got to their base at Foggia, Italy, it was too cold to live in tents so they set about rounding up stones and anything they could find to build huts. Harry was also from Iowa–Elkader.

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Harry also wrote his fiance that Danny Wilson was a fresh air fiend who always had to have the windows and ventilator open at night. Harry’s ears and nose would get so cold that he’d have to keep his head under the covers, where he couldn’t get any of that fresh air.

Lt. Harrison E Wold survived 36 missions without ever having his P-38 hit. In fact, he thought his plane was the only one that never got a hole in it in combat.

He wrote Clabe and Leora from Luke Field, Phoenix, Arizona. that he squadron had still hadn’t received any definite word about what had happened to Danny at the time he left Italy. They’d all thought he had a very good chance of being taken prisoner, and thought they might hear something when the war ended in Europe, especially since no one saw him crash.

Harry got a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University and worked in California oil and gas fields for 40 years.

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Harry and Jeanne Wold once returned to Iowa and took the time to stop at my home, bringing his photo album with pictures from their time in Italy. Mom was here with me.

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Harry and Jeane Wold visiting Danny Wilson’s sister Doris at my Iowa home.


Obituary of Harrison E. Wold (1923-2005)

7 comments

    • I joined unit reunion groups and found Harry through the P-38 National Association, which still exists. They will be featuring “Leora’s Letters” in their newsletter! I sure wish I could locate Harry and Jeanne’s children and/or grandchildren.

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