Re: In Retrospect
Here are the two guys we are looking for:
Cpl Clarence H. Bales 3772?311
Cpl Harry D. Repp Jr 13141053
The ranks are from the POM paperwork as you and your crew were going overseas.As you know flying enlistedmen received the rank of Sgt when on flying duty.
What do their ASNs tell us:
Repp ENLISTED (1) and was from the area (3) comprising PA, MD and DE.
I checked with my contact at VA and they have Repp's name and number but no claim was ever filed.So, no reference.
A phone sweep shows a large crop of Repp's in the Pittsburch area, and also in Maryland, particularly Hagerstown.
A netsearch shows a Mildred Repp, widow of Harry D, deceased in PA but, she was 95--so that Harry D is probably too old to be your crewmate.Her obit says she was predeceased by a son, James A, and lists only her surviving sisters.SSDI shows a Harry Repp b 1901, deceased in 1971 in Homestead, PA, but again if he was a Sr then it should have mentioned the son---Therefore, I don't think there is a connection in PA.
Another people search shows reference to a Harry D. Repp age 76 in Hagerstown, MD--this would be in the (3) zone.There are a bundle of Repps in Hagerstown, but no Harry listed.The age reflects when the information was posted, so doesn't necessarilly mean that is the age now--it could be five or more years old.
Perhaps you could call some Repps in Hagerstown.
Bales is a little more difficult but presents some possibilities...
His ASN shows that he was DRAFTED (3) in Command area (7) which is ND, SD, WY, NE, IA, CO, KS and MO.Being drafted usually indicates being a legal resident as you had to REGISTER at the local draft board.(A guy could walk in and ENLIST anyplace...)
VA could not associate the name with the ASN from the list.There is therefore no record, but they did have a Clarence with WW2 time and a 37 ASN.(Remember the person who typed that list spelled YOUR name wrong--so the whole list is suspect...)
There are many references to Clarence in the phonebook and SSDI.
As for the Clarence listed at VA--with the different ASN--he was in service from 3-6-43 until 12-28-45...no branch is given.He was born in 24 and deceased in 75.He hailed from MO which is area (7).(Note: SSDI listings before 1980 usually do NOT give a middle initial--after 1980 they usually DO)Without the middle initial to qualify, this will take additional research.
SSDI has a Clarence H. as b 1921 and deceased 1999. (Age 81)He received his SSN in KY and deceased in Monroe, NC.Now, KY touches on area (7) so it is possible that his part of KY was serviced as area 7, even though KY is technically part of area (5).
You might qualify his obit at:
500 Jefferson St.
I also found a Clarence Hugh with a posted age of 77 as resident in Riverside, CA.No additional info available.This Clarence's wifes name was/is Barbara, but I couldn't find any additional detail.
Nothing would have made me happier than to deliver one or both of your lost crewmates for Christmas.They may still be out there---more study is required.