PFC Wayne W. Dow 6911009 KIA

PFC Wayne W. Dow 6911009 KIA US Army. He was born on September 20, 1921, in Decatur, Illinois. He was the son of Irving Dow and Grace Dow of, 2345 East William street, Decatur, Illinois. Dow had attended Johns Hill Junior High, and Roach Schools. He was a member of East Park Baptist Church and he was a devout Baptist. He entered the US Army on June 5, 1944 at Fort Sheridan Illinois. At the time of his enlistment he was 22 years old, he was 5 foot 9 inches tall weighed 170 pounds had brown hair and brown eyes. Dow training at Camp Blanding, Fla. He went overseas in November, 1944. He served in 36th Division in Italy. He volunteered with other men from his company to join the 63rd Infantry Division. On February 21, 1945 he entered 1st Platoon, F Company, 253rd Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division from the 71st Reinforcement Battalion along with; Cpl Edward S. Bezilla, Sr. 35288487 WIA,  Pfc. Thomas E. Brown 32751247 WIA, Pfc Hugh J. Burns 37186329, PFC Walter J. Dilbeck, Jr. 35841476 WIA, Sgt. Charles E. Dixon 34924565 WIA, Pfc Roy U. Doan 35840965 WIA, Pfc. Grady Lee Dobson 34973979 WIA, PVT Roy Dotson 33821574 KIA, PFC John “Jack” I Douglas 39299432 KIA, PFC. Marvin D.Drumheller 33887019, Pfc Charles E. Duggan 36984170 WIA, T/4 John Zito 39680847 WIA. Other men also came from ? Company 36th division during the same week. He served with F Company until his death on April 6, 1945. His gravestone has the wrong date of death on it. According to Robert Bane and Walter Dilbeck they both remember Dow as being a very religious man who would preach and act as a Chaplin with the men of 1st Platoon. PFC Walter Dilbeck said Wayne Dow “was the fellow that would always send the V-mail letters home and stay in and never participated when we went out, never with other women. He was the fellow that was always wanting to go to church, and he had time for everybody else’s troubles and this boy always wrote the V-mail letters to each person’s family. He knew your children by name and wanted to know if you had a letter and so forth…”

On April 6, 1945, First Platoon was leading the advance from Untergriesheim through the open ground towards the town of Buchhof. PFC Joe Aguzzi was the first scout, and being first scout gave him the responsibility of leading the company through the open ground. At this time, a sniper shot Aguzzi in the left leg, and the bullet hit his femur and the femoral artery. He fell to the ground in excruciating pain as his M1 rifle went flying out of his hand and his helmet went flying off his head. The men of F Company walked past him and left him for the medic. Other men from F Company were also wounded and Killed by most likely the same sniper including PFC Harold D. Bonner. PFC Wayne W. Dow was killed by a sniper bullet wound to the head near where PFC Bonner was killed. PFC Dilbeck “picked up [Dow’s] rings and his belongings…” off of Dow’s body and when Dilbeck got to the the field hospital, he “told them what they were and they shipped them back to [Dow’s] wife.”

He was Awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star Medalthe Purple Heart Medalthe Good Conduct MedalThe American Theater of operationsthe European Theater of Operations Medal ETO, and the World War Two Victory Medal. He was burred at Oakland Cemetery Fordyce Arkansas in 1948. Along with his wife and parents he left behind his children his daughter and Wayne W Dow Jr. As well as his four brothers Irving Dow Jr., John Dow, Robert Dow, and Walter Dow, and his sister Gaynelle Dow Rokosh.


1- Jayne Kell oral history transcript of PFC Walter J. Dilbeck, Jr. done in the 1960s

2- research done when writing

3- 63rd infantry Division Records

4- Herald review Decatur Illinois April 28 1945 page 3

5- The Decatur Daily Review Aug 27 1948 Page 13

6- find a grave User GNP for main photo

7- Oral histories with Robert Bane