Last Known Activity
Wesley Canalier Sloulin was born on February 22, 1919 in North Dakota. His parents were Ober S. and Petra Sloulin. The US Census 1920 has the family in Wildrose, North Dakota while the US census 1930 shows them in Williston. Wesley graduated high school, then enrolled at Montana State Normal College in Dillon, Montana.
He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in Fargo, North Dakota on November 23, 1940, but was not activated until February, 1942. He trained as a pilot, then was assigned to B-17 training.Following that, he was assigned to Muroc Dry Lake, California in June 1942. He flew anti-submarine patrols off the California coast.
He deployed to England in August, 1942 and flew several missions (mostly over France) over the Continent as First Pilot. Later that month, a portion of the 32nd Bomb Squadron was transferred to North Africa.
Lt Sloulin flew several missions, starting in November, 1942. On January 7, 1943, his aircraft took off from Biskra on a mission to Bizerte, Tunisia. About 6 miles, the aircraft crashed, killing all 12 personnel on board. (One source indicates the ship exploded in mid-air; the Missing Air Crew report has nothing concerning details of the crash.)
Evidently, some bodies were recovered, either at the time of the crash or later, as most of the dead are buried in the U.S. ( Strangely, the MACR states nothing of recovery nor subsequent burial.)
Lt Sloulin lies in the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia in Plot H, Row 11, Grave 14.
The International Airport in Williston, North Dakota was named "Sloulin International Airport" in honor of Lt Sloulin and his brother Kermit, also killed in World War II.
Interment Control Record Card (by father)
Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Ray, North Dakota
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
Lt Wesley C. Sloulin was the assigned pilot on B-17F # 41-24350, nicknamed "Dumbo," assigned to the 32nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16242 was issued, but tells little of the details of this loss. Mission loading lists state the personnel on board consisted of:
1 Lt Wesley C. Sloulin p
2 Lt Robert D. Olson c-p
1 Lt Vincent C. Frattali nav
1 Lt William R. Crandall bomb
SSgt Frederick J. Hull eng/tt gun
SSgt William A. Most, Jr. r/o
Sgt Frank Kahl wg
Sgt Eldon L. Kimmel tail gun
Sgt Leslie Clark gunner
MSgt William White pass
MSgt Linus C. Leonhard pass
MSgt Ted A. Greenway pass
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
The three passengers were all Aircraft Mechanics - Crew Chiefs. Their purpose on the flight is undetermined.
Service photo source: