Last Known Activity
Wayne Darrel Cherrington was born on August 14, 1922 in Willow Lakes, South Dakota. He was the son of Vernon and Anna Cherrington. Vernon Cherrington died in 1929. Both US Censuses 1930 and 1940 show the family living in Canton, South Dakota. (Anna listed as head of household - widowed.)
Cherrington graduated from Canton High School in 1940. He enlisted in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on December 9, 1940 as a private in the Army Air Forces. His enlistment forms state he had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed in an occupation from the "actor/actress" group.
He first trained as an aerial gunner, but later went to pilot training school. He was stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri; March AAB, California; and at Lowery, Colorado. He took pilot training at Luke AAB, Arizona, graduating in May, 1943. He was sent overseas in July, 1943.
He was assigned to a bomber unit located in North Africa. According to sources, he flew 47 missions over Europe and Italy. On January 11, 1944, he commanded a B-17 for a mission to bomb the harbor facilities at Piraeus, Greece.
En route to the target area, weather conditions worsened. Skies became 10/10 with clouds, excessive winds were encountered, and icing conditions developed. Two of the lead element aircraft decided to abort, but when turning, crossed the path of the oncoming second element.
Several of the B-17s collided, exploded, and crashed, killing most crew members aboard. Evidently, the bodies were recovered and buried locally. In 1948, Cherrington was recovered and is now buried in a common grave with Lt Leonard Stucka, his co-pilot. The grave is in the Fort Snelling, Minnesota National Cemetery where the grave is in Section C-22, Site 12981.
US, Evangecal Lutheran Church of America Records
National Cemeteries Interment Records card
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Arizona Republic, Phoenix, (AZ) newspaper, issue April 8, 1943, pg 4
Lt Wayne D. Cherrington was the pilot of B-17F # 42-30341, unnamed, assigned to the 419th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 1834 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew was composed of:
1 Lt Wayne D. Cherrington p
2 Lt Leonard A. Stucka c-p
1 Lt Tommy G. Riley nav
2 Lt Stanley A. Korzeniowski bomb
TSgt Melvin W. Craig eng/tt gun
TSgt Raymond F. Wood r/o
SSgt Frank J. Sexton btg
SSgt John J. Murray wg
SSgt Russell C. Wallace tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Wood, Murray, and Wallace survived. All others were killed.