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*F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

Article about: Hello Pennsylvanian WR members (and anybody else who's looking), as Princess Leia once said (in a way); 'Help me, War Relics. you're my only hope'. I am looking for information on/about Henr

  1. #1

    Default *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    Hello Pennsylvanian WR members (and anybody else who's looking), as Princess Leia once said (in a way);
    'Help me, War Relics. you're my only hope'.

    I am looking for information on/about Henry W. BEHLER (I have listed all of the known info below). My wifes' step-father was a 'GI baby' and Henry BEHLER was his father. We have exhausted all of the known/official agencies who assist with tracing lost relatives and as far as we are aware Henry BEHLER died on April 15 1973, what we don't know is anything about his life or where he is buried. Every now and then when I have a few spare hours I search the internet trying to locate an obituary or grave but have unfortunately had no success, hence my request. From my research it appears that BEHLER is still a relatively localised name to Pennsylvania (especially PALMERTON) so I live in hope that somebody somewhere may know his resting place or something about him. Henry BEHLER had a brother and sister who were aware of the birth (as were his parents), however, if my wifes' step father is a family secret hidden in the mists of time I don't know.
    As with anything from the time there are descrepancies and inconsistencies, however, all of the information I know is below.
    If anybody can give any information (however small) on Henry BEHLER, his address / local area or info on 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Grp and their movements I would be very grateful as it all adds to the picture, and most importantly it would bring his son a little bit closer to knowing his father.

    The info that I have;

    Henry W. BEHLER was known as 'James' (He referred to himself at the time as James Henry BEHLER) and his address (or sisters') at the time was 1513 HAZARD ROAD, PALMERTON, P.A. (On Google street view this appears to be a highway!). He was a white male with brown eyes, approx 6' tall with brown hair and spoke German. He had an older brother, William and a younger sister, Catherine, who was a nurse.
    According the US National Archives he enlsited on 11/08/42 and was a 'semiskilled brakemen, railroad' in Civilian life and was born in 1922 (I believe his date of birth may be 20 May 1922).
    His service number was 13099383 (although I think that I have seen written differently on some letters - unfortunatly not to hand) and he was in the 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group, 9th Airforce.
    In 1944 he was stationed at MERRYFIELD, ILTON, SOMERSET, ENGLAND and is believed to have had the rank of Corporal and it is possble that he had something to do with the Military Police. Apparently he liked singing!
    He met my wifes' step-fathers' mother, Iris, whilst out walking and were in a relationship for 1-2 years. I would estimate that they had been in a relationship for about 6 months+ when she fell pregnant. He was aware of the pregnancy and birth (as was his immdiate family as mentioned) and they were engaged. Unfortnately he was drafted to France (The photo below has been taken in France or Germany - note the Luftwaffe cap!). His last posting prior to being sent back to the US was ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND. The couple last met in 1945/46 to discuss their marriage (due to Iris's age a 'consent to marriage of a minor' form had to be completed - We still have this and it shows that his superiors were aware of the relationship). 'James' Henry BEHLER then returned to the U.S. He wrote to Iris asking her to find out how much it would cost for her and the baby to come over (he also mentioned that he was moving to the country), when she wrote back informing him it would be 300+ she never heard from him again.
    Children out of wedlock were frowned upon at the time, especially in the rural areas and Iris was called names and spat on. She later married, however, kept the letters sent from 'James' Henry BEHLER. Her husband found the letters and burnt most of them, although Iris managed to keep about six. When I met my wife 10 years ago I was told of the story and started to do a little research. When Iris found out she produced the letters which had clearly been kept in a box under the floorboards. When 'James' BEHLER was spoken about it was clear that she still carried a flame for him despite what had happened and all of the years that had passed. Sardly Iris passed away a few years ago, my wifes' step-father has never brought himself to read the letters, although my mother-in-law has. I was able to have a glance at them and it (unfortunately) shows a man who was clearly affectionate and loving at the beginning of the relationship becoming more distant at the end.

    There you have it! If anybody can help build the picture with info on his house, the school he went to, his job in the USAAF, jobs post war, where he's buried (what I would most like to find), anything really it would be gratefully recieved and appriciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    'James' BEHLER 1944/45 - note the Luftwaffe cap

  3. #3

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    Very interesting thread. Wish I could help.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    If it is the Palmerton in eastern Pa. it is about 20 miles north from my house. Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    I am the unofficial historian for the 301st TCS and can confirm that he was a member of the unit and the address shown for him is correct at Hazard Road. I also believe that he was born 20 May 1922 and passed away on 15 April 1973. I think that he is buried in a family area in Towamensing Cemetery, PA.

    I will look through the records of the unit to see if there is any mention of him and will speak to the veterans who are still living to see if they can give me any additional information.

    Good luck with your search, but I can provide you with almost everything about the squadron's activities during WWII. If you wish to tell me what you want off board I will be happy to do so.

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    Sounds like the place near my house. Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  7. #7

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    Thank you so much! I have pretty much exhausted every avenue so any bit of information that can be provided to build the picture would be most gratefully recieved.
    Gordom I have sent you a PM.
    Last edited by Grimebox; 02-16-2012 at 06:12 PM.

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    Sounds like the cemetery at Fireline Road and 3rd. Street in Palmerton. Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  9. #9

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    I have contacted Gordan privately and he has very kindly found me the resting place of 'James' BEHLER and has provided me with a picture. Due to the sensitive nature surrounding possible close relatives I won't post it here, but needless to say, my wife's step-father is very pleased with the information that we have found out so far. Should I ever be able to post the full story (with the consent of those invloved) then I will, however, at this time it is a very personal and emotive story and will remain private.
    I would like to publicly thank Gordon for his help and assistance.

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: *F.A.O. PENNSYLVANIA* - Henry W. BEHLER, USAAF Serviceman 13099383, 301st Troop Carrier Sqn, 441st Troop Carrier Group

    John

    My pleasure.

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