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Charles L Neinfeldt

War: World War II
Parent/Wife: Ernest
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: 5 Nov 1923
Death Date: 15 Nov 1943
How Died: Plane crash
Where Died: Atlantic
Where Buried:
Rank: S-Sgt
Branch: Air Force

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Born November 5, 1923-Died November 15, 1943

Charles was the sixth child of Ernest and Minnie (Martinson) Neinfeldt. He had two older brothers, but usually hung out with a brother-in-law, Bob Moll. They were close to the same age, and both were quiet men. He loved to hunt and fish, sometimes going alone to spend the day with the dog and a bottle of orange soda and his fishing poles. He wasn't a drinking man, but would always make sure his sister Margaret had a ride to the saturday night dance.

Whenever the older brothers would pick on Ray, who was the youngest, Charles would get in between and break things up. Ray always hero-worshiped his brother Charley. When Ray and I were dating, he made the remark one evening, "our first boy is going to be named Charles!' Well, I hadn't known we were thinking about marriage yet, so I let it go. When he finally did ask and was accepted, he said again about the first son's name. "So, what if we don't have a boy?" Well then it will be Charlene or something close, so we can call her Charley.

Charles's father was a master carpenter, and also farmed for the family food. At one time they rented a few acres of hay near Bancroft, about ten miles from the farm on Town Line Rd. Pa and all of the older children at home had to help get in the hay crop. One time Charley was on the wagon and Pa was pitching to him, and words were exchanged about the lack of speed Charley exhibited, and he got down off the wagon, gave his fork to his sister, and walked home. He didn't help with the haying after that, and went into the service soon after.

Charles spent his school days at Children's Choice, and graduated eighth grade from the Franklin School. He attended the Wood County Agricultural High School for a short time before leaving for service. This was an alternate for the traditional High School, and mostly for the farm kids with more subjects in agriculture. When he was stationed in Florida for some training, he complained about the food and the weather. "I hope I never see that state of Florida again." This was written in February of 1943. He complained that "they give a guy a piece of meat as round as a spoon, and about a half a potato. At least here in Colorado we get enough to eat." In March of that year he started more school. Classes from 10pm until 6am and then eat and go to bed for awhile.

In May of 1943, he was sent to Gowen Field, Idaho. "I just got to a new camp again. This makes my sixth one. We are supposed to teach these guys here about the guns that we know." Later in May, he was moved again, this time to Salt Lake City, Utah. He complained about the heat, saying that he wished he was on the other side of the mountains. And, he was going to school again.

In September he wrote from Sioux City, Iowa. "Well, here I am again, back at the same old thing. The first day we went to ground school. The next, up in the air again. We were up for 9 and a half hours on one trip. Say, were we tired after all that time in the air. We had 2500 gal of gas with us and we burned most of it. We had 2500 rounds with us, too. That's shells. It takes 100 gal of gas for each motor to get warmed up. So there is 400 gals of gas right there. We went to St. Paul the other night, and we are going to New York of these days, and an eight hour trip to California. The United States is just about the size of Wisconsin to me now. The other night, when everyone else was sleeping, the pilot let me fly the plane for just about an hour. I sure had me some fun. There isn't a darn thing to it. Well, I was sure glad to be home. If it was about a fifteen day furlough, I might have been a married man. This way I am only engaged."

While he was home, he continued dating Alice Bohn and they decided to get married when he got home for good. He wrote his sister Margaret, and asked her to get the ring, and give it to Alice at Christmas time. He would send the money to her for the ring.

In October he wrote from Sioux City, telling that they were being sent to Gulf Port, MS for a week. They had to make a 1000 mile ride over water, and then on the eighth of October they would be moving again, but didn't know just where. He made Sgt on the first and then S/Sgt on the 15th. He was happy about the raise in pay. S/Sgt paid $144.00 a month and he could use it to help pay for that engagement ring. His last letter was dated November 3, 1943 from Lincoln, Neb. and he complained again about the cold.

On November 15th, 1943, after leaving Bouniquen Field, Puerto Rico, by way of Waller Field, Trinidad to Atkinson Field, British Guiana, Charles L. Neinfeldt, along with eight other crew members and four passengers, was lost in an over-water flight. After an intensive search, the observation plane sighted parts of the plane, open parachutes, one life vest, two life rafts, one capsized raft, and two oxygen bottles. No survivors were found and two days later the search was abandoned.

Written and edited by Diantha (Mrs Ray) Neinfeldt


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