Warsaw Sunday paid tribute to the first local man to lose his life in World War II when the transport Joseph V. Connolly arrived at New York with the bodies of 6,251 war dead, including Glen E. Wiltrout, boatswain's mate, second-class, son of Mrs. Marie Bussing, 313 West Main street.
Boatswain's Mate Wiltrout died Feb. 18, 1942, when the naval supply vessel U. S. S. Pollux was wrecked on the Newfoundland coast in a gale. One officer and 91 men on the Pollux and seven officers and 90 men on the destroyer Truxton were lost when the vessels, members of the same convoy, broke up in heavy surf whipped up by the howling North Atlantic gale.
Boatswain's Mate Wiltrout and a companion attempted to swim ashore through the icy surf. According to the companion, who reached shore, the last he saw of Wiltrout was when they jumped from the Pollux.
The body of the Warsaw sailor was recovered after the gale and was buried in the Fort McAndrew-Argentina temporary military cemetery in Newfoundland.
First Body Returned
The casketed remains of Boatswain's Mate Wiltrout will arrive in Warsaw, accompanied by a uniformed navy escort from the Chicago distribution center of the American Graves Registration Division. The time of arrival is not now known.
The war dead aboard the Joseph V. Connolly were from the military cemeteries in Europe, Iceland and Newfoundland.
The transport moved into the muted harbor at New York after a rendezvous near the entrance with two destroyers which strew floral pieces on the water after brief religious ceremonies.
The flag-draped casket of a congressional medal of honor winner, chosen by the War department as the symbol of his fellows and whose identity will not be made public, rested on the boat deck of the transport. A guard of honor stood at the casket and blue jackets on the destroyers lined the rails at attention as army and navy installations in the harbor fired 21-gun salutes and war planes roared overhead.
Impressive Memorial Service
Thousands lined the streets as the cortege marched along and church bells tolled. A halt was made at the Eternal Light in Madison Square, a memorial to the World War I dead.
At the Central park memorial service, Secretary of the Army Kenneth C. Royall represented the nation, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey the state of New York, and Mayor William O'Dwyer the city of New York. Maj.-Gen. Harry H. Vaughan, military aide to President Truman, placed a wreath on the coffin and a delegation from the United Nations was in the speakers' stand.
Bodies of the war dead will be unloaded at the Brooklyn army base within five days and 10 to 30 days are expected to elapse before the remains are turned over to next of kin.
Flags at Half-Mast
Memorial services for Boatswain's Mate Wiltrout and ten other members of the Warsaw Methodist church who lost their lives in service were held in June of 1945.
The local sailor, a student of Warsaw high school, was serving his second enlistment in the navy when the Pollux disaster occurred. He had served at Norfolk, Va., and San Diego, Cal., had shipped through the Panama canal and had been on duty in Hawaii. He returned to the United states at the completion of his first enlistment but re-enlisted a few months later. The Pollux was operating in the North Atlantic out of Norfolk, Va.
Wiltrout was born on a farm south of Warsaw March 23, 1918. He left Warsaw high school in his junior years to enlist in the navy on Oct. 21, 1936. He was 24 years old when he lost his life. Survivors include the mother, a sister, Norma, and the father, Creed Wiltrout, of St. Paul, Minn.
Also returned aboard the Joseph V. Connolly was army Sgt. Walter Lockerbie, Jr., son of Walter Lockerbie, Sr., of 308 Sunset boulevard, Goshen.
Warsaw Daily Times, Monday Oct. 27, 1947 page 1 & 6