The US War Department filled out an official Report of Death for Lt. Daniel S. Wilson on January 23, 1946: “The individual named in this report of death is held by the War Department to have been in a missing in action status from 19 Feb 1945 until such absence was terminated on 17 Jan 1946, when evidence considered sufficient to establish the fact of death was received by the Secretary of War.”
A telegram was sent to Clabe D. Wilson:
Then they received a letter with more information:
War Department, The Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, 25 D.C.
23 January 1946
Dear Mr. Wilson:
It is with deep regret that I am writing to confirm the recent telegram informing you of the death of your son, Second Lieutenant Daniel S. Wilson, Air Corps.
Your son was reported missing in action since 19 February 1945 over Austria. It has now been officially established from reports received in the War Department that he was killed in action on 19 February 1945 in an airplane crash in Schwanberg, Deutschlandsberg County, Austria.
I know the sorrow this message has brought you and it is my hope that in time the knowledge of his heroic sacrifice in the service of his country may be of sustaining comfort to you.
I extend to you my deepest sympathy.
[Signed: Edward F. Witsell, Major General, Acting The Adjutant General of the Army]
Just the week before, Clabe and Leora had received a letter saying that a Presumptive DOD (Date of Death) had been made for Dale Wilson, set for January 15, 1946.
Leora pasted Gold Stars over two more of the blue ones on the family’s service flag.
293 Records (Casualty) from the Mortuary Affairs and Casualty Support Division
Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II is available from Amazon in paperback and ebook, also as an audiobook, narrated by Paul Berge.
It’s also the story behind the Wilson brothers featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn, Iowa. All five served. Only two came home.