Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 7:36 PM
Subject: Re: Mystery Soldier
Remember the WWII Soldier I asked for help finding? Well... I FOUND HIM!!!!!!
I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to tell you that I finally found my WWII Soldier I have been looking for since 1998.
In May 2006 a publication in Sacramento, CA published my article with the photo of my unknown soldier in their Military magazine. The editor was one of the few that was willing to help me by publishing the photo and information so that I could get it to as many people as possible hoping someone would recognize him. And finally... success... a WWII Vet wrote and said the soldier looked like his cousin, I contacted the family and sure enough it was him. Unfortunately he passed away September 2002. I have been in contact with his wife and she has given me the evidence to verify my soldier is indeed her late husband. He left a wife, daughter and 2 sons as well as many other family members. If only I had found the publication sooner I could have met him.
He was in an Airborne Infantry Regiment, he was 73 when he passed away. I wish I could have met the soldier whose drawing hung on my late father-in-law’s studio wall for over 50 years. After Dad died in 1997 I decided I was going to find him, the soldier’s eyes always seemed to tell me “please find me” so I decided I would.
I sent out over 10,000 emails to various Military agencies, newsletters, websites, etc. I sent over 7000 emails to newspapers in every major city in all 50 states. As well as several major TV programs, some that claim they read and respond to all e-mail, they don't, A Las Vegas, Reno and San Francisco paper as far as I know were the only ones that did. The Women’s VFW posted it on their website, the men’s refused as did all 50 states VA Departments. Then there was one guy that told me to give it up and quit wasting my time because I would never find him... I told you then I would and that if I was ever lost I hoped you wouldn’t be the one looking for me... and that I would find him... I told ya so!!!
Bomber Legends Magazine printed it, Merrill’s Marauders, the US Army Rangers Association, The Hump Pilot’s Association, CBI MESSAGE CENTER site, Ancient Faces Genealogy, RootsWeb Genealogy, and several private military tribute sites posted it to their websites. The Hump Pilot’s Association posted it at a reunion as did Ft. Breckenridge. A copy of the drawing along with all of Dad’s WWII belongings was donated to the Eisenhower Museum/Library. Several other military departments and personnel helped me with contacts, some that were able put it in their newsletters etc., or passed it on to anyone they thought might be able to help me and I am deeply grateful. I wish I had all of their names.
Anyway, his wife has provided me with info and photos and there is no doubt this was the soldier Dad drew, and the soldier I have been looking for. Finally he has a name and an identity and his family will have the drawing Dad always wanted them to have. I will be taking the soldier home to his wife in August and give the drawing to her and her family. Ironically I was about 100 miles from her 3 months before I finally found him!!!
EUREKA I FOUND HIM!!!!! I realize it was a billion to one that I would, but I did and that’s all that matters. And now you know the rest of the story.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone that helped,
Sparks, NV (Reno)
***Note from me - If the soldier's family permits it I will be adding his name to the site. I want there permission because this has been such a surprise for them they may want to cherish it and
To Whom It May Concern;
I am trying to identify a Soldier in the Army in WWII (He passed through the Army Base in India) in the 1940's, somewhere between 1942-45, in India. (his picture is attached or will be if you'll post it and give me an email to send it to.)
My late Father in law, Layton H. Wicksten was a Cpl. in the Army stationed
in India at the base called "The Depot" or "Bengal Air Depot" in the CBI Theater, under the command of Col. Frank Hackett. (In or near Agra, India) Dad was an artist and did a lot of the art work for the newspapers "The Tiger Rag" and "The Depot". (as well as painting "Mascots" on the pilots planes) He featured a drawing of different soldiers from the Base on the back of most papers (Tiger Rag) as well as civilian personnel. He also did a beautiful painting of Col. Frank Hackett, that the Base presented to him at a party, I can't recall if it was a birthday, retirement, transfer or what.
One day Dad saw a soldier sitting at the airstrip waiting for his plane (he was not stationed there, he was on his way to where ever he was stationed) and
did a drawing of him but he never found out who he was. I have been trying,
with no luck, to find out who this soldier is. Could you put his picture in your newsletter or publications with the caption "Do you know this soldier?" Perhaps he or his family, widow, children, or someone who knows him will see it and contact you. I know I'm asking a lot, but I think it's a worthwhile endeavor and I hope you will too. Especially with what is going on right now, it would be nice to give this soldier's family a small part of him back.
I even gave a copy of the drawing to the Eisenhower Museum in KS, along with Dad's entire collection of pictures, drawings, newspapers and everything else he collected while he was in India, when he passed away a four years ago. They said it was the single largest WWII collection they had ever received. (The Naval Museum on Treasure Island, CA said the same thing when I donated all my late Mother in law's Navy possessions, including many telegrams and Naval stories, pictures etc. She was a WAVE stationed there in WWII)
This soldier could still be alive, but if not I would like to give the drawing to his family, it is very very good, Dad was a phenomenal artist. I am sending you a copy of the drawing (you'll be amazed) if you would please help me try to identify him it would be great. I know someone would recognize him if I could just get his picture to the public. I'm hoping that your publications will. If you have any suggestions of where else I could send this for help please let me know.
Thank you for your help,
Linda - Mystery Soldier