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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Aided in WWII

The 505th Bombardment Group of the Army Air Force was activated on March 11, 1944.  First equipped with B-17's, the group later trained for overseas duty with B-29's. The group moved to Tinian late in 1944 and entered combat in February 1945 with strikes on Iwo Jima and the Turk Islands. Daylight missions began against Japan, operating at high altitude to bomb strategic objectives including the Nakajima aircraft factory followed by night missions at low altitude. The group supported the Allied assault on Okinawa in April 1945.  June and July were spent bombing Japanese shipping in Shimonoseki Strait and harbors of the Inland Sea. After V-J Day, they dropped supplies to Allied prisoners and were inactivated 30 June 1946.

 PFC Mervin Percy Wilson, of Lawrenceville was one of the elite group of soldiers on Tinian Island with the 505th Bombardment Group during WWII.

Mervin was the son of Worley and “Marjoree” Schonert Wilson. The Lawrenceville Republican on March 12, 1925, reported that “Mr. and Mrs. Worley Wilson on North 13 St. Lawrenceville are rejoicing over the birth of an eight-pound son born Sunday morning.”

He married Ella Marie Hocking on June 2, 1946, upon his return from the service. At some point the couple moved to Arizona. Mervin opened the first barbershop in the Flowing Wells area of Tucson.

The couple had no children. They loved to travel and had explored all fifty states as avid campers and fishermen.  Several family members from the Midwest made the trip to Tucson to help care for the ailing couple as they aged.

Mervin Percy Wilson, 86 died on January 8, 2012, in Tucson Pima County Arizona.  His wife preceded him in death. They are both buried in Moffett Cemetery where his parents and grandparents were buried.  

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