Howard Schwegel's enlistment record from the National Archives is here.
Date of Birth: 24th May 1916.
Place of residence: Montgomery Ohio.
Date of enlistment: 13th March 1941
Place of enlistment: Ft Newport Kentucky
Awards: Air Medal, & Purple Heart.
Buried: The US Military Cemetery at Madingley Cambridge Grave F-1-73
Howard was one of eleven children born to his parents, of which only four survived to adulthood.
On his death Howard Schwegel was survived by three siblings.
His brother was serving with the US Air Corp in England when he learnt of Howard’s death by letter from his father in Dayton Ohio.
Howard’s only son Harold (“Skipper”) was later tragically killed in a road accident, this loss took its toll on Howard’s mother and father who died from strokes shortly afterwards, presumably brought on by overwhelming grief.
Howard had graduated from high school and took a career in the mechanical treatment of metals; forging, rolling and pressing until joining the USAAF in 1941.
In March 1944 Howard completed his combat training at Tucson Arizona with the rest of the crew before flying in their allocated B24J (44-40146) “Sugar-N-Spice” across the Atlantic to North Pickenham in April 1944.
Commencing operations on 11th May with the first of eight successful missions three of which are known to have been in “Sugar-N-Spice” the remainder were flown in a selection of aircraft as they became available. The fatal ninth mission was in B24 H (4295160) which was on its fourth mission with the 856 BS.
Schwegel, Howard J., Sgt., ASN 35120394 - Gunner