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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Cornelius, Edward K.


Rank: 2nd Lieutentant
Serial Number: O-688628
Military Branch: 64th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group, Heavy
Origin: New Jersey
Date of Death: 1944-6-13
Manila American Cemetery
Featured: No

Edward Kenneth Cornelius was born  December 16, 1919 to Theodore and Elizabeth Cornelius in New Jersey. By 1930, the family was living with the grandmother, Amelia Cornelius in Camden, New Jersey. Edward had two brothers, Theodore Thomas Cornelius and Robert Cornelius. Edward was a graduate of Camden High School where he had been very active. Lt. Cornelius was married at the time of his death to Kathryn F. Cornelius of Philadelphia, PA.

A great website about Lt. Cornelius can be found at: http://www.dvrbs.com/ccwd-ww2/ww2-edwardkcornelius.htm That website links to another that describes the loss of brother CMOMM Theodore Cornelius on the submarine USS Scorpion, SS 278 in January, 1944.

Edward enlisted in the Air Corps on December 7, 1942 at Camden, New Jersey. He was assigned to the Pacific theatre of operations, Fifth Air Force, 309th Bomb Wing, 43rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 64th Bomb Squadron stationed at the Lae-Nadzab Airfield complex in New Guinea.

Extensive research accompanies this group including a complete copy of the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR). The crew  was on board B24D1, Tail Number 42-72811, nicknamed "Uncle Sam", with a crew of 11, piloted by 1st Lt. John Duvall. The plane left from Mokerang Airfield, on Negros Island, Admiral Island Group, on June 13, 1944, on a night time pathfinder strike mission to bomb Japanese air and naval forces on Yap in the Carolina Islands. About 5 hours into the 13 hour flight, the plane was observed to burst into flames and crash into the sea. An extensive search by plane and ship was conducted at the estimated loss location of 30 North and 146 West in 2200 fathoms of water. Early reports of members of the 90th, indicated burning debris and a wing at the crash site. No survivors were found.

Lt. Cornelius is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery. Lt. Cornelius and his brother Theodore are also memorialized at the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey. A picture of the Beverly grave marker is included herein.

Lt. Cornelius' group includes his posthumous officially engraved slot brooch Purple Heart complete with its presentation box, and white shipping box, posthumous officially engraved slot brooch Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster with its presentation box and cardboard shipping box, plus the NOK Purple Heart pin in its box. Also included is the original Air Medal Citation with its transmittal letter to the widow.