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S/Sgt Edwin "MIKE" Elliott, WW II/ MTO (DNB 10 May, 1944)
1944 | Corsica
Edwin MIKE Elliott was born in 1920 in Kentucky. He enlisted directly into the Army Air Corps from Coles County, CP Grant, Illinois on 29 Oct. 1941. Mike had completed 2 years of high school and was still single at Enlistment. (36303616).......... S/Sgt Mike was with the 57th Bomb Wing HQ and on a Courier ship B-25 # 42-53371 "Deathwind" on 10 May, 1944 when bad weather caused the pilot to become off course and the ship crashed into the Mountains of Corsica, killing everyone aboard. A sad and tragic accident, it was a Mail Delivery and also carried a Red Cross Lady.
S/Sgt Edwin "Mike" Elliott (Elliott, Edwin (NMI), S/Sgt, HQ 57th BW - DNB) /Elliot photo
Wednesday, 10 May 1944
HQ 57th BW: Extracts from Missing Air Crew Report # 16458: Plane B-25 type AP was on a routine training flight, en route to Ghisonaccia, Corsica, on 10 May 1944 when it crashed into a mountain near Sartene, Corsica. A/C No. 42-53371 “Death Wind” (MACR-16458 - crashed into mountain) (formerly 447th BS ship) P Geerlings, Lewis J., Capt, HQ 57th BW - KNB CP Fletcher, Ray F., 1Lt, HQ 57th BW - KNB PAX Elliott, Edwin (NMI), S/Sgt, HQ 57th BW - KNB PAX Chapin, Carolyn, American Red Cross - KNB PAX Loring, Richard H., PFC, HQ 57th BW - KNB None None None
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321stBG Historian and 57th BW Researcher, this ship was my Dad/Edward C Ennis' main Combat Ship before she was retired into the Courier Service.
Edwin (NMI) "MIKE" Elliott
2010 | Illinois
The REPUBLIC SPOTLIGHT, ILL.
LOXA, Ill. — After 66 years, Staff Sgt. Mike Elliott is coming home to Illinois.
On May 10, 1944, Elliott, a 24-year-old Army Air Forces staff sergeant, was part of a B-25 bomber crew when the aircraft crashed atop a mountain in southern Corsica. Elliott died with First Lt. Ray F. Fletcher, Capt. Lewis J. Gerrings, Private Richard H. Loring and Red Cross nurse Carolyn Chapin. What caused the crash during the noncombat mission is not clear.
Back in Central Illinois, Elliott's family learned his body could not be recovered from the crash site. For Glenn Elliott, Mike's kid brother, the Army aviator became a painful memory of loss. He mourned the loss of the sibling with his older brothers, Walter and Junior, also World War II veterans, his sisters and parents, Belle and Levi Elliott.
"He was very young when Mike was lost. He remembers Mike coming home for a leave before he left for Europe. But that's about all from the war," said Sue Elliott, Glenn's wife of 53 years.
Now 73, Glenn is the last surviving member of his family that experienced the war that claimed Mike's life. He will attend one last funeral on May 11 for his lost-but-not forgotten brother. Determined efforts by military rescue and recovery team members and DNA testing of two nieces of the deceased two years ago helped confirm a few body remains are those of Sgt. Elliott. These archaeological searches for American MIAs are conducted across the globe to recover remains that can provide DNA matches of living relatives, preferably those on the mother's side of the deceased.
"This is actually unbelievable," said Sue Elliott. "We never thought we'd be planning a funeral for something that happened 66 years ago."
She will be taking a photograph of the brother-in-law she knew so much about but never met to Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home for the funeral remembrance display of the Elliott family. She will also be submitting for display letters announcing the aviator's death from 1944, which Belle Elliott stored in a cedar chest through the decades. Mike's mother died before word came confirming her son's remains would come back to the United States.
"She kept them in her chest. I still have them in the envelopes in my chest now," Sue Elliott said.
Great nephews of Sgt. Elliott will escort his body on a flight from military facility in Hawaii. Both are veterans, one completing a tour of duty in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan. The body is scheduled to arrive at Coles County Memorial Airport on Mother's Day, May 9.
"He'll be buried between his mother and grandmother at Rest Haven at Mattoon. I felt this what all Glenn and I could do for him," Sue Elliott said.
Information from: Mattoon Journal-Gazette
Edwin (NMI) "MIKE" Elliott "Home at Last"
May, 2010 | Ill.
World War II veteran's remains returning home to Mattoon on Monday
"MIKE" Elliott "Home at Last"
By HERB MEEKER
Elwin Elliott killed in plane crash in 1944 MATTOON - The remains of Elwin C. "Mike" Elliott are expected to touch down at Lambert-St. Louis Airport at noon Monday. The arrival almost completes a circling of the globe for the World War II Army aviator killed May 10, 1944, when a B-25 bomber crashed on a mountain in Corisca. His remains were recovered and identified during the past decade through the efforts of the Missing In Action Accounting Command and then taken to a military base in Hawaii. Elliott, a 24-year-old staff sergeant in the Army Air Forces, died in the crash with 1st Lt. Ray F. Fletcher, Capt. Lewis J. Gerrings, Pvt. Richard H. Loring and Red Cross nurse Carolyn Chapin. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4325 Commander Dana Denny said this is the first DNA-confirmed casualty he recalls being returned for interment in the community.
"It has caused a lot of interest, and people are wondering if, with the DNA, they could find more World War II veterans. It would be great if they found more crash sites and identified more remains. It could give the families closure," said Denny, a Vietnam-era veteran who served in Korea during the 1960s. "Of course, we still have one missing from this area. That's Larry Phipps from the Vietnam War." The final leg of the journey for Elliott will be in a hearse escorted Monday afternoon across Illinois by his relatives, including his lone surviving brother, Glenn Elliott of Loxa, his great nephews and a military honor guard from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The honor guard will be involved in graveside military rites at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens after the funeral Tuesday, starting at 1 p.m., in Mitchell Jerdan Funeral Home of Mattoon. Denny expects many people might honor Elliott with flags or posters along Interstate 57 or in Mattoon as the procession approaches the funeral home. Similar displays of honor have been present when casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan returned to Central Illinois. The funeral home has received several requests for information on the Elliott arrangements since the story was published last week.
"It is quite a deal to have a loved one come home after 66 years," Denny said.
Saturday, May 8, 2010 12:01 am
"Mike" Elliott /Air Force News
2010 | Ill
WWII airman finally laid to rest.By Herb Meeker - The Mattoon Journal-Gazette via Associated Press
Posted : Friday May 14, 2010 11:53:21 EDT
MATTOON, Ill. — David Champion knew he couldn't miss Mike Elliott's funeral.
Like Elliott, who was born Edwin C., Champion also flew in a B-25 bomber more than 60 years ago in World War II. Champion returned home to Coles County after the war with plenty of memories from the wild blue yonder, but it took 66 years for Elliott's bittersweet return from Europe this week.
At age 24, Elliott died with four others when a B-25 crashed on a mountain on Corsica during a non-combat mission. He and others killed in the May 10, 1944, crash have been identified through DNA testing through the efforts of the Missing In Action Accounting Command, which conducts retrieval of military remains across the globe each year.
"As soon as I heard about them bringing back his remains I knew I was going to be here," said Champion as he greeted people at the door of Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home before Elliott's funeral. "I grew up here, but I didn't know the man."
Outside the funeral home, Glenn Poorman of Humboldt was confident the skies would remain clear for the procession to the Rest Haven gravesite with other Patriot Guard motorcyclists.
"We have a good turnout today for a weekday. We're going to be there for these veterans whether it's been 66 years or 40 years when they come home. These serve as closure for the families. It's really an honor and a privilege to be here today," said Poorman.
Glenn Elliott, Mike's lone surviving sibling, was glad to see so many people out to honor the brother he barely knew. He was in grade school when the telegram came informing his parents of Mike's death.
"I don't actually remember talking to Mike when he was home on leave before he went overseas," the silver-haired kid brother said Tuesday morning.
Elwin "Mike" C. Elliott came to Mattoon at age 8 with his family from Kentucky, where he was born. The Elliott family lived on North Fourth Street in Mattoon and Mike went to school with his brothers and sisters. Records show he was of slight build, weighing 128 pounds.
With America's entry into the war, Elliott enlisted at Camp Grant and went into the Army Air Corps before his assignment to the Mediterranean. That fatal flight claim his life and the lives of First Lt. Ray F. Fletcher, Capt. Lewis J. Gerrings, Pvt. Richard H. Loring and Red Cross nurse Carolyn Chapin. Military data indicates the bomber was on a mail run and Chapin was en route to assignment for the Red Cross.
Champion said the risk of a crash was always there for aviators, but they tried to block it out.
"When you were on a flight you didn't think about it," he recalled. "It was just a job to do. Whatever happened, happened."
Selena Griffith and Jewel Gilbert, both of Mattoon, are Mike Elliott's nieces. They agreed to DNA-related blood draws to confirm some of the remains recovered from the mountaintop in Corsica were those of Elliott. For Griffith there was irony to the return of the remains to a military personnel identification center in Hawaii five years ago.
"I learned that Dave (her husband) and I had been to Hawaii the same time his remains came back. Then around Thanksgiving of 2005 we had a call asking if I'd agree to DNA tests," Griffith said.
Army Sgt. Jarrod Taylor, Elliott's great-nephew, accompanied the body on the flight to Illinois. Taylor experienced a strange coincidence during the flight.
"I met a woman who had been on a flight carrying a World War II veteran's remains to Boston for a funeral. I found out it was Pvt. Loring's funeral," Taylor said.
At Rest Haven, there were many veterans, including Mattoon American Legionnaires of Post 88, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4325, Windsor American Legion Post 725 member and Sons of the American Legion and Legionnaires with Post 71 in Urbana.
Dan Schmidt and Gus Robertson of the Urbana detachment thought it was important to honor the man they never met because he's from a generation that was as tough as nails.
"They were millions of brave men and women. If it wasn't for them we'd be speaking German or Russian today," Robertson said.
Off in the distance past the bugler, the soldiers firing the honor volley and the American flags fluttering in the wind, Ray Hoffman of Mattoon, a Vietnam veteran, stood erect as a sentry throughout the ceremony.
"I think all veterans deserve some respect, especially those from the World War II. They did so much. It's still good we recognize them," he said as he tried to control his voice after the ceremony.
"MIKE" Elliott "Soldier comes Home"
2010 | Illionois
Mystery ends after decades and a soldier comes home at last
Sat, 05/08/2010 - 6:00am | Paul Wood
MATTOON – When Selena Griffith had blood drawn on her lunch break at the Mattoon Post Office, her boss gave her a worried look. No one was sick, but somebody had died. And Griffith's DNA solved a mystery that had its roots in World War II, when Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Edwin C. "Mike" Elliott, age 24, died in a plane crash. There was not much mystery about the crash, which was not combated-related, but an accident in mountainous territory. The Army has long had the remains of five airmen from the crash. What it didn't have was the technical ability to tell one hero from another. But through mitochondrial DNA testing, which traces identity through the maternal line, Griffith could help her uncle's family find peace. The Defense Department has a team, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, based at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, that investigates hundreds of cases involving remains of airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines. In late 2005, they sent a phlebotomist to draw blood from Griffth, whose mother Lorane was the staff sergeant's sister. After four years of documentation, next week Staff Sgt. Elliott will be buried, at last, in his hometown, with full military honors. Missing Air Crew Report #16458 offers scant information:: "Plane B-25 type AP was on a routine training flight, en route to Ghisonaccia, Corsica, on 10 May 1944 when it crashed into a mountain near Sartene, Corsica." Also on the plane: First Lt. Ray F. Fletcher, Capt. Lewis J. Gerrings, Private Richard H. Loring and Red Cross nurse Carolyn Chapin. The terse report doesn't give a clue to the pervading sense of loss in the Elliott family, which sent three sons into the war. Griffith said the return of the bones was moving, several years after her blood was drawn. Her son Jared Taylor had heavily researched the accident, including finding a report of a Corsican who heard the crash. Taylor, a veteran who was deployed five times himself, made it a mission to gather any evidence available, his mother said. Taylor was en route Friday and unavailable for comment. Sue Elliott, the airman's sister-in-law, said his mother would have savored the closure the discovery affords the family. Belle Elliott stored her son's precious letters in a chest for decades. But she died in 1976. Staff Sgt. Elliott's remains are being flown from Italy to Hawaii to Mattoon, arriving around Mother's Day. Few in the family have concrete memories of Mike Elliott. Sue's husband, Glenn Elliott, now 73, was much younger than Mike, and only has a dim memory of his brother coming home on leave when the boy was 6 or 7. "We're really relieved," Sue Elliott said Friday. "It's been a long time. The only thing better would be if his mother was still alive." The staff sergeant is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Mae Elliott of Charleston, and Norma Elliott of Mattoon; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Walter and Levi, Jr., also world War II veterans, and three sisters, Margaret Frost, Lorane Dobbs and Rose Elliott. A funeral service in Staff Sgt. Elliott's honor will begin at 1 p.m., Tuesday, at Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home, 1200 Wabash Ave. Mattoon, with Pastor Ray Roberts officiating. Interment will be in Rest Haven Memorial Gardens. Full military rites will be conducted graveside by the Fort Leonard Wood Honor Guard.