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Duward F. Sumner

Waxahachie, Texas

Duward Sumner was born in Canton in northeast Texas, and attended Cooper High School. Cooper is the county seat of of Delta County located between the two forks of the Sulphur River in northeast Texas.

Sumner joined the U.S. Army before the U.S. was directly involved in World War II. On December 7, 1941 he was a sergeant in field artillery stationed at Camp Bowie at Brownwood in central Texas. He was married to Marjorie Dorsey, the daughter of Ben and Annie Dorsey of Waxahachie. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he was appointed as a flying cadet in the Army Air Force. He trained in San Antonio, and probably at Randolph Army Air Force Base, which was known as the "West Point of the Air." He was commissioned a second lieutenant, and trained at other Army air force bases in Texas. He was shipped out to the South Pacific in May of 1943, and flew the B-24 Liberator bomber against Japanese forces. 

Sumner flew 112 combat missions in the Pacific, and he was highly decorated. His decorations included the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Soldiers' Medal, Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf clusters, Pacific Theater Ribbon with 5 stars, Presidential Unit Citation, Philippine Campaign Ribbon and Purple Heart medals.

In September of 1944 Sumner was sent back to the states, and assigned as flight commander at the B-24 school at Casper Army Air Force Base in Casper, Wyoming. His next assignment was Andrews Field outside of Washington DC. 

On April 17, 1946, shortly before noon, Major Duward F. Sumner was killed when his B-25 Mitchell bomber plowed into a wheat field in Prince George County, Maryland, four-minutes after takeoff. He was 31.

Major Sumner was buried at Hillcrest Burial Park in Waxahachie.

The picture and research for text is courtesy of Perry Giles, Giles Monument Company, Waxahachie, Texas.

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