Ernest A. Matthews (Mathieu) 2nd LT, 728th Bomb Squadron, 452nd Bomb Group, Heavy
Ernest Arthur Mathieu was born on 16 Aug 1923 in Burlington, VT; the 2nd child of Napoleon Mathieu and Flora Marotte. Ernest Arthur Mathieu was baptized at St Joseph church on 17 Aug 1923. In the 1930 census we find Napoleon Matthews (an anglicization of Mathieu) and Flora living at 303 No. Bend Street in Burlington with Dorothy age 8 and Ernest age 6. Napoleon was employed as a book binder. In the 1940 census they are living at 40 No. Champlain St. in Burlington. Napoleon was a binder at a newspaper company. In the 1941 Burlington City Directory Ernest and his father Napoleon are both employed at the Burlington Free Press.
Ernest graduated from Nazareth Elementary school in 1937 (Owned by St Joseph parish) and won the 2nd prize in the History category. He was also the coach of the Nazareth baseball team. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1941.
On Ernest’s 30 Jun 1942 draft card we find him at Fairfield, CT age 18 and employed at the Bullard Machine Tool Co. in Bridgeport, CT. He is 5 ft 10 inches tall and 145 lbs and light complexion with hazel eyes and brown hair. His next of kin is Genevieve Esther Matthews.
Ernest was married to Genevieve Livingston on 29 Jun 1942 at Milford, CT. On 9 Sep 1942 Ernest and Genevieve visited his parents in Burlington. Ernest and wife visit Burlington parents with their daughter Barbara Louise prior to his induction to the Armed Forces.
Ernest entered the service on 7 June 1943.
Burlington Free Press 2 Sep 1943: Ernest has been assigned to Michigan State College for a course of Army Air Force instruction consisting of academic courses as well as elementary flying. Service #O-930079
Burlington Free Press 28 Jul 1944: Just graduated as a Flight Officer on furlough at his parents home in Burlington with wife and child.
Burlington Free Press 15 Aug 1944: Appointed as a Flight Officer when graduated from Big Spring Bombardier School in Texas.
Burlington Free Press 19 Jan 1945: WANTED: Name for a B-17.
Burlington Free Press 6 Feb 1945: Matthews promoted to 2nd LT. Sent to England in February.
Burlington Free Press 13 Apr 1945: Ernest A. Matthews Killed In Action.
Burlington Free Press 24 Apr 1945: Services were held at St Joseph church.
Burlington Free Press 22 May 1945: Bomber Explodes in Mid-Air, Ernest Matthews 2nd Lt Bombardier is killed over England on March 30 only a few weeks after he arrived in England.
Six of the crew were killed and three were blown clear and parachuted to safety.
BURIAL: Cambridge American Cemetery, Coton, Cambridge, England
MATTHEWS, Ernest A., Second Lieutenant, 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Forces, Service #O-930079, State of Entry: Connecticut, Death: 30-March-1945, Plot B, Row 7, Grave 4, Purple Heart, World War II
**HISTORY OF B-17 44-6816 **Delivered Hunter 18/11/44; Dow Fd 28/11/44; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-B] Chelveston 1/12/44 Transferred 728BS/452BG Deopham Green, England 2/12/44 Caught in prop-wash of another aircraft on assembly for Hamburg with Pilot: Willis Du Mond, Co-pilot: Carl Jones, Bombardier: Ernie Matthews, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Dan Cursons, Radio Operator: Carl Hartman, Ball turret gunner: Roy Frost (6 Killed in Action); Bombardier: Dan O’Connor, Waist gunner: ? ,Tail gunner: John Stewart (3 Returned to Duty) Crash landed Hilgay, five miles N of Littleport, UK, 30/3/45; Salvaged 24/4/45. Source: Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.