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Wayland Luther Buchholz


Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed at Wiggingen on 9/8/44 in B-24 Silent Yokum #4250581



  • Roy Guy

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed at Wiggingen on 9/8/44 in B-24 Silent Yokum #4250581 POW

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Units served with

  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

  • 787th Bomb Squadron


Associated Place

  • Attlebridge

    Military site : airfield
    Attlebridge was constructed for RAF use and completed to that standard in 1942. However, with news that it was to be assigned to the American Air Force, the runways were extended and additional hardstandings and outbuildings constructed for the heavy...


Event Location Date
Born Chicago, IL, USA 17 April 1925
Shot Down Wittingen, Germany 8 September 1944

shot down on his 15th mission

Prisoner of War (POW) Tychowo, Poland 20 September 1944 – 1 June 1945

Stalag Luft IV
(Tychowo was Heyd, Germany during the war)

Died Fox River Grove, IL, USA 14 September 2005

FOX RIVER GROVE - Wayne L. Buchholz, 80, of Fox River Grove, died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, at the Veterans Hospital in North Chicago after a long illness. He was born April 17, 1925, in Chicago.

He was a 1943 graduate of Lane Tech High School, where he was a member of the basketball team. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, was trained as a B-24 gunner, and served as a staff sergeant with the 466 Bomb Group during World War II, from 1943 until 1945. In 1944, on his 15th mission, he was shot down over Germany, taken prisoner for 86 days, and sent to Stalag Luft IV. That winter, the Nazis began evacuating prisoners of war from German camps as the Allies advanced. He was forced to march 600 miles through eastern Germany on the "death march," a journey he barely survived.

In spring 1945, he was liberated by the Russians. His experience as a POW was included in a WBBM-TV special DVD highlighting Chicagoans during WWII, and was featured in an article in Chicago magazine and in a book, "The Last Escape: The Untold Story of Allied Forces in Europe 1944-45," which detailed the march. During imprisonment, he kept a personal diary of his daily life as a POW.

Upon discharge from the Air Force, he returned to Chicago; married; and began a 34-year sales career at Addressograph-Multigraph, where he won many awards for his sales accomplishments. He also worked as a business equipment salesman at Konica and Royal Business Machines, and part time during his retirement at the local True Value hardware store.

Involved in church and community activities as a youth and adult, he served on the school board and as chairman of the congregation at Grace Lutheran Church in Northbrook. He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Algonquin. He also was active in the local Republican Party during the 1960s. He enjoyed lively discussions on politics, religion and sports.

A Chicago sports fan to the end, he tried out for the Chicago Cubs in Janesville, Wis., upon his return from the war.

A dedicated family man, he delighted in spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He was a gardener and worked countless hours planting flowers and tending to his lawn. His hobby earned him recognition in a local gardening contest. His many other interests and pleasures included wood finishing; reading about American history and politics; and planning for his ultimate retirement home, a log home. His moved into his log cabin in the woods in Fox River Grove in 1985.

In retirement, he frequently spoke to students and groups throughout Chicago, recounting his experiences in WWII. One of his proudest moments was attending the 2004 dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was a true representative of "the greatest generation," demonstrating how the sacrifice, courage, love of family and country, and strong character of an ordinary person had a deep effect on the lives he touched.

He will be remembered for his kindness, optimism, generosity and good-natured spirit. He was a true gentleman and exceptional person.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Dorothy J. (Krinker); four children, Barbara J. (Robert) Clements of Algonquin, Sharon J. (George) Hahne of Cary, Lisa G. Powell of Carpentersville and Mark P. Buchholz of Fox River Grove; and three grandchildren, Matthew Clements, Caitlin Hahne and Jordanne Powell. He also is survived by many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Adella (Goetz) Buchholz; and a brother, Wendell W. Buchholz.

Buried Elwood, IL 60421, USA 19 September 2005

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
Will County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Section 4 Site 976


Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 23:58:51 466thHistorian Changes to events

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 23:57:32 466thHistorian Changes to surname, middlename, service number, highest rank, events, person associations and place associations

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:11 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8611 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database