Funeral Services Tuesday for Fifield WWII Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

Funeral services will be held Tuesday for a WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor from Fifield.

John Weindorfer, Sr., 89, passed away March 27. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 2 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fifield. Visitation will from 10 a.m. To 11 a.m. A funeral service will follow.

According to the Lakeland Times Newspaper, after World War II, Weindorfer left the Navy, but joined the U.S. Army about a year later. Part of the Army's Air Corps eventually became a part of the U.S. Air Force which became a separate part of the U.S. military in 1952. He retired from the Air Force in 1974 after 26 years in the military.

In October 2010, he received Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award.

Excerpts from that proclamation read:
On November 19, 1941, he arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii aboard the Destroyer Escort USS Cassin which was scheduled for dry dock; and he was assigned to the Ford Island Naval Station as an Aviation Mechanic. While on mess hall duty on the morning of December 7, 1941, he was an eyewitness to history as the first wave of Japanese attack aircraft struck and sunk the USS California and USS Oklahoma anchored just across the bay on Battleship Row. At the emergency aid station established in the mess hall, he helped provide first aid, with limited medical supplies, to scores of wounded sailors, many of whom had sustained severe burn injuries; and he lost 43 former shipmates when the USS Cassin was destroyed in dry dock.

On April 1942, he was assigned to PBY sea plane patrol duty as a Flight Engineer operating out of multiple bases, including Midway Island and the Ellis Islands, near Guadalcanal, where he survived the first of three military airplane crashes, a sea crash during take-off; and in 1944, he survived his second sea crash into San Francisco Bay while on a new equipment test fight and he was instrumental in saving his pilot’s life. He continued on patrol duty in the South Pacific until he was rotated back to the United States, and was homeward bound aboard an aircraft carrier when the Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945. He was assigned to the Pensacola Naval Station in Pensacola, FL as a Sea Plane Flight Instructor and served in that capacity until his discharge on February 6, 1947 with an Aviation Mechanic Flight Engineer First Class rating.

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