2Lt. Daniel S. Wilson, Lorraine American Cemetery Plot D, Row 5, Grave 7

The Reason for this Unusual Blog Post

Gaston Adier, Mayor of Carling, France, has visited the grave of Iowa’s Danny Wilson at St. Avold several times. He’s sent photos of him with the grave alone, with his wife and brother, and with groups of school children. He talked to them about this American pilot who gave his life to help wrench Europe from tyranny.

So that he’d have more information about Danny, even from childhood, I sent him these photos. He didn’t need any English in order to share them. My blog post, though, on Monday was about how they made sure that who is buried in that grave in France is indeed our Danny Wilson. He was frustrated because of the language barrier, and we tried to find a solution. Facebook offers translations, but that doesn’t work even if the blog post is shared there. 

Yesterday, Justus from Iowa PC Services added a translator plug-in, and in time that Mr. Adier was able to read it! Check it out, lower right-hand corner. Several languages to choose from.

Daniel S. Wilson

Danny Wilson was born in Stuart, Iowa, USA in 1923, the sixth child of Clabe and Leora Wilson.

Dexter, Iowa

After they moved to Dexter when he was small, Danny needed surgery in Des Moines for a mastoid behind his ear. He was only four years old.

Danny is the boy yawning, about the time of his surgery.

During the Great Depression, his two oldest brothers joined the Navy, leaving two sisters and three brothers at home.

Danny is the middle boy, about 11 years old.

Their father Clabe, then Dale, Danny, and Junior.

Their pet squirrel is on the fender.

They also had a pet dog named Spats.

Danny Wilson, unknown age

Minburn, Iowa

The family moved to Minburn, Iowa in 1939, as tenant farmers. Danny graduated from high school in 1941, named Valedictorian for having the best grades in his class.

Graduation photo, 1941

Last photo of the whole family, November 1941

Clabe and Leora Wilson seated

Standing: Daniel, Darlene, Donald, Junior, Delbert, Doris (my mother), Dale

Danny and Junior were still in high school. Darlene was Dale’s twin.

Donald and Delbert served in the Navy.

Daniel, Junior, and Dale became pilots, and all three were killed.


Danny Wilson farmed with his dad and brothers until joining the Army Air Force in 1943.

Danny with younger brother, Junior Wilson

1942 near Minburn, Iowa

Lt. Daniel S. Wilson

Received his wings in March 1944

Williams Field, Chandler, Arizona

Overseas: Italy

Dan Wilson at the base of the 37th Fighter Squadron,

14th Fighter Group at Triolo, Italy, late 1944

Dan Wilson with his P-38 Lightning

P-38 Lightning

Dan Wilson was killed in action February 19, 1945, Schwanberg, Austria.


He and his brothers are honored on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Adel, Iowa.

CEM Donald Wilson (survived the sinking of the USS Yorktown (CV-5) in the Battle of Midway, also served on the USS Hancock (CV-19), E 1/c Delbert Wilson served on a tanker (Aruba, East Coast, North Africa), 2Lt. Dale Wilson (B-25 copilot, lost off New Guinea, 1943, never found), 2Lt. Dan Wilson (P-38 pilot, KIA Austria), F/O Junior Wilson (P-40 pilot killed in training when his plane exploded).

Now, if we could only get Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II translated into French.


    • I think that’s what GTranslate is. There are 10 languages to choose from. I have Bosnian friends (here in Iowa and also in Bosnia) so it will work for them as well.

    • Hmm, hadn’t thought about it seriously. For this one, it was easier to call Iowa PC Services. They have two new geniuses and both of them have set me up with something, or untangled trouble I’d gotten into!

    • It sure is now! Today I found a “like” from the site superintendent of Lorraine American Cemetery when we were there in 1997. I recognized his name! They’re several hours ahead of us, but I sent him a couple of photos from when we were there, so I’ll probably have feedback in the morning.

  1. When we visited Lorraine American Cemetery in France, I did not know Danny Wilson was buried there. I sure wish I could have visited his grave. It is situated in a beautiful setting and like all American Military cemeteries is well kept.

    • Lorraine is in eastern France, near Germany. Most people go to Normandy, which we visited with Mom and Aunt Darlene before heading east to Lorraine.

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