Sergeant Walter Fred Schofield was born in Lafayette, Colorado on March 25, 1921. His family moved to Ogden during his youth, living at 2662 Monroe. He graduated from Ogden High school in 1939 and enlisted in the army on November 25, 1939. He married Mescal Hall on November 3, 1941, just one month before Pearl Harbor.
He was assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 14th Bombardment Squadron, serving in Australia in a B-17.
“On July 16, 1942 they took off from Coen Airfield bound for Horn Island Airfield. Aboard were five U.S. Army passengers from the 104th Anti-aircraft AW Battalion plus a salvage crew and replacement parts including landing gear, propeller blades, brake assembly and tools to repair … a B-17 damaged on July 4, 1942.
While attempting to land in windy conditions, near dark, this B-17 was lining up on the wrong side of a flare path. Realizing the error, the B-17 attempted to pull up quickly and the heavy replacement parts that were not properly stowed to shift, causing the bomber to dive into the ground killing the entire crew on impact.
After the crash, the remains of the crew and passengers were all recovered. The entire crew were declared dead the day of the mission.(www.pacificwrecks.com)
The bodies were initially buried on Horn Island. They were later removed and reburied at the U.S. cemetery at Ipswich on July 14, 1945. Still later, the crew was moved again. They are now buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Missouri. (Photograph, courtesy of Erik Kreft)
Sergeant Schofield’s father, Walter H., a former barber shop owner, was also serving in the military. He was in the U.S. Navy in the South Sea Islands. A brother, A. Wayne Schofield was with the Army Air Corps at Chico California.
Sergeant Schofield was the 12th Weber County casualty, and the 5th designated as DNB (died non-battle).