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A Letter Home: A Cincinnati Co-op Killed in Action

Co-op's really big Band of Brothers (and sisters) were in a class all their own during World War II. Women co-ops were fit to step into the roles traditionally held by men on the homefront while both men and women co-ops served everywhere from Iceland to Egypt. Some never came home. 

Date: 8/10/2005 12:00:00 AM
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by UC Archives

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One-time Cincinnati co-op Lt. Wesley Nelson, a navigator on a B-29 bomber, was killed in Italy.  His commanding officer sent the following letter to Nelson’s wife, Beth: “They lost an engine while taking off…There was nothing left to do then but set the plane down in the field ahead.  Wes went to the nose and tried to salvo the bomb load before they hit.  Beth, it was a heroic thing for him to do and something you can always be proud of….The following day, April 11th, George Matsen and I attended the funeral…Wes was laid to rest in a military cemetery in southern Italy....Wes died a hero – attempting to save his crew…He loved you very much, of that we are all certain.”

Return to main page of "Co-op Special Report."
Return to main page of excerpts from The Ivory Tower and The Smokestack.

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