PFC Tom T. Wilmeth
Co. 'B' 17th Armored Infantry Battalion
Killed in Action 22 April, 1945
Near Munich, Germany
-- Karolyn Wilmeth Hendrix --
Tom T. Wilmeth was born on December 6, 1918 to Cora Mooney and Charles Wilmeth in Spencerville, Oklahoma.
In June, 1939 he married Martha Wood and moved to the new 'booming' oil fields of Illinois. My parents were
living in Russell, Kansas when he was drafted. Tom did his basic training at Camp Fannin in Tyler, Texas.
He was transferred to Fort Mead, Maryland for a short time before being shipped to Le Harve, France for
active duty. We never knew exactly where he was during the war, as they were not at liberty to tell anyone b
ack home. Their mail was heavily censored in order to keep locations and plans secret. From reading my father's
letters to my mother, I have learned much. The letters cause him to spring alive to me again and tell me how
he felt and what was important to him. The letters were kept 'put away' for fifty-five years before my mother
could read them again without breaking down. My parents were only together for five short years but had a
romance few people ever know.
He loved his wife and three 'kiddies' more than anything else in the world. He called the war a 'mess.' He
wanted the war to end victoriously for America and to get back home to his family. From his letters I have
learned that his family was the sole focus of his life and how deeply he loved us.
My father died in April of 1945 and I turned five in June of that year after his death. I remember my father well
and have vivid memories of him. His letters home have confirmed that my memories are clear and true! I was so in
love with my daddy.
At the age of 26, my father, Tom T. Wilmeth died from fatal wounds received in combat somewhere outside Munich,
Germany. He hit a land mine while driving a half track. He lived for six hours in a medicaltent near the combat
zone after being wounded. He was buried at Saint Elysee Cemetary in France, than returned home to the states for
permanent burial after the war. He now rests at Fort Gibson, just outside of Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Tom's survivors include my mother, Martha Wilmeth Lyle, myself, Karolyn Wilmeth Hendrix, Tom Wilmeth, his sole
survivng son, and my little sister, Donna Wilmeth McLaren. Tom was our hero! We miss him very much and our
hearts will always be full of love and pride for what he gave for his family and country.
Whatever Tom encountered in life, he gave his all. I am so proud to have been his daughter.