Vernon Exum Wheeler was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Thomas Vernon Wheeler and Parthena Exum.

Died 25 May 1945

Second Lieutenant
505th Bomber Group, 482nd Bomber Squadron

Aircraft B-29-26BA with serial number 42-63508 departed from Tinian, Marianas Island on a night incendiary bombing mission to Urban Area Tokyo in Japan. B-29 was shot down over Tokyo on May 25, 1945. The remains of the crew were found a year later. 2nd Lt Wheeler is interred with the other crew members in Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri.

Awarded the Purple Heart

Crew members
Pilot APC, Capt Henry W. Putnam
Pilot, 2nd Lt Chester M. Malaby
Bombardier, 2nd Lt Vernon E. Wheeler
Navigator, 2nd Lt William F. Ritmiller
Radio Operator, Sgt Leon K. EnEarl Jr.
Engineer, T/Sgt William W. Weissenberger
Radar, Sgt Frank J. Estok
CFC, Sgt John D. Duckworth
RBG, Sgt Philip L. Brock
LBG, Sgt Walter D. Reynolds
TG, Sgt Francis H. Donnelly

The Chattanooga Times, June 16, 1946
Second Lt. Vernon E. Wheeler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas V. Wheeler, 241 Jarniga Avenue, has been reported as killed apparently in action on May 26, 1945. Wheeler, a graduate of Chattanooga High School, had been employed by the Southern Railway when he entered the air forces on May 28, 1943. He had completed 10 mission over Japan when he was reported missing in action over Tinian Island in the Marianas; he had been in action three months, having been assigned to the Pacifc front in February 1945. He is survived by his parents and a sister, Gloria Wheeler.

Picture below from the Chattanooga High School yearbook 1942;  he is picture here with Captain Betty Jean Cift

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Date of birth:
  • 10 September 1924
  • Date of death: 25 May 1945
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 505th Bomber Group, 482nd Bomber Squadron
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XI, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Vernon E. Wheeler

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