WMMOA Says Goodbye To A Hero

On Saturday our chapter lost a good friend and our last member of The Greatest Generation. As we aviators say, on April 11th 1st Lieutenant Vince Werner requested clearance and departed to the West on his final flight. Vince was an extremely proud WWII veteran serving in the US Army Air Forces (USAAF). He served as a B-17 Navigator in the 15th Air Force, 5th Bomb Wing, 2nd Bomb Group, 96th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) as member of Crew #515 based at Amendola Army Air Field in the Foggia precinct of Italy from March to July 1944. He was credited for 51 combat missions and was the last surviving member of his crew. Vince shared his wartime experiences with the Chapter several years ago to include his early training before heading overseas and the amazing journey his squadron made from Texas to Italy via South America, the South Atlantic and North Africa, all via celestial navigation and dead reckoning. On his last two harrowing missions, Vince served as Lead B-17 Navigator of the entire 5th Bomb Wing guiding 168 aircraft from Amendola to the Blechhammer South Oil Refinery (GERMANY) and the Ploesti Xenia West Oil Refinery (ROMANIA). Among his awards, LT Werner received the USAAF Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters for meritorious service. God Bless you Lieutenant Werner, we will miss you.