AMM3/c Howard Wayne Wildermuth
U.S. Navy, USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB 42
Killed February 23, 1946, en route from Rio de Janiero
-- Kathie Wildermuth Gray and Janice Wildermuth Printy --
My father, Howard Wayne Wildermuth, AMM3/c died aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB 42 on
Feb. 23, 1946. He was hit by a cable wire that was broken when a plane attempted a landing after
being waved off by the landing signal officer. He was a member of the arresting gear crew.
The ship was in the Atlantic on it's way back from it's shakedown cruise to Rio de Janiero. If he had been
in the States, he would have been discharged the day he was hit, which was Feb. 19, 1946.
The day she received the TELEGRAM, my mother was expecting a telegram from my father telling us when
he would be home for good. I was 3 years old and my sister, Janice, was 22 months old at the time.
My father was a wonderful person and very much loved by everyone who knew him. He was very talented,
with a beautiful tenor voice, taking part in high school musicals and head chorister in his church.
He sang to my mother and my sister and me and "volunteered" on special occasions in his time in the Navy.
He volunteered to serve in the Navy, even though he was working as a tool and die maker at a steel plant
that was supplying wartime materials. He felt guilty for not doing his share. He and my mother discussed it
and decided it was the right thing to do.
He took his boot training at Great Lakes, IL. and his Aviation Machinist training at Norman OK. Then he was
sent to Boston and Philadelphia for Arresting Gear and Catapult training.
He served aboard the USS Boxer and USS Charger before being assigned duty on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, CVB42.
In letters to my mother he told of many close calls while new pilots attempted to qualify for landing on an
aircraft carrier. He always assured her that his job was a safe one and he was keeping his head ducked. The
Captain of the Roosevelt wrote my mother that he was hit from behind while doing his job of clearing the deck
from a previous landing. He also said his injuries were similar to General Patton's.
We were very fortunate to have spent the previous Christmas with him. He was a very loving father and husband.
He was born in Plano, IL. on March 12, 1922. He died Feb. 23,1946 and his body arrived in our hometown of Aurora,
IL. on his mother's birthday, March 10 and was buried on his 24th birthday, March 12th, 1946 in Lincoln Highway
Cemetery, Aurora, IL. He was the second son of Jerome and Erma Wildermuth. His brother, Erle, was a glider pilot
in the D-Day invasion.
My mother has a suitcase of letters from my father, 3 that arrived after the Telegram. She also received 23 letters
that my father never received from her while at sea. She has assembled 2 scrapbooks that will help my sister and me
learn a little more about what a great guy our father was.
Howard "Budd" Wayne Wildertmuth was the Grandfather of Mark,Michael, Billy Gray and Dina Printy,
and the Great-Grandfather of Skyler, Ashlyn, Julianna and Abigail Gray.
He was the Father of: