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Welcome to the Thornton Home Page!

Updated: 25 June 2013


Word has been received of the death of Patricia (Hicks) Thornton (24 Dec 1923 - 09 Aug 2012). She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Waldwin Thornton (01 Aug 1923 in MI - 03 Feb 2008 in Cincinnati, OH). Please contact Jim Adams if you have obituaries, photographs, or other information to add to this family page. 

 

Ancestry.com Tree -- http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/person.aspx?pid=-1359817767&tid=5688619 (This tree goes back to Elisha Thornton, b. 30 June 1748 in Smithfield, Providence, RI)

See also: One World Family Tree for Mary O Dell who was married to Amos Gulick (or Julick)

http://trees.ancestry.com/owt/person.aspx?pid=149416785

 

Thornton Family Tree (MyQuest.com) Begins with John Thornton (1669-1716) & Dinah Steere

 

Descendants of Dudley Thornton (b. 23 May 1819; d. 24 Sep 1898) and Nancy Julick (b. 06 Oct 1822; d. 20 Mar 1890) They had two children:

1. Andrew A. Thornton (21 Oct 1844 in NY - 01 Dec 1920 in Porter, Van Buren, MI).


2. Dudley L. Thornton (b. 06 Jan 1860 in Kalamazoo, MI; d. 1943 in Paw Paw, MI) married to Clara Lucinda Adams (b. 28 Jan 1859 in Van Buren, MI; d. 28 Feb 1946 in Lawton, MI). Dudley was a Mason & president of Southern MI Fruit Assoc. for 12 years. In 1895 he owned 60 acres on the North side of Huzzy Lake (in Section 10 of Porter Twp) plus another 120 acres just to the NW in Section 4.

From a newspaper article of Aug 1940 (Probably Kalamazoo Gazette):

"Lawton Couple Observes 60th Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. D.L. Thornton Spoke Nuptial Vows Aug. 1, 1880
Lawton--Mr. and Mrs. Dudley L. Thornton celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at an "at home" Thursday afternoon at their residence in Lawton.
 

  The couple spoke their marriage vows Aug. 1, 1880, in Lawton, and the Rev. T.T. George read the ceremony. They have resided in their present home for 60 years.

  The couple has five children living including D.C. Thornton, Miss Rena E. Thornton, and Hale Adams Thornton, Lawton, Ralph L. Thornton, San Francisco, Calif., Dr. Reed F. Thornton, Chicago.

 

  One child Lucinda N. Thornton is deceased. They also have six grandchildren.

  Mr. and Mrs. Thornton, who are both 80 years old, are in fair health and he is active as a farmer and fruit grower.

  For many years he sang in the Lawton Methodist church choir, and occasionally sings there now.

 

  His grandson, Hale Thornton, Jr., is a member of the choir in the same church. Another grandson, Kenneth Thornton, celebrated his 17th birthday on the couple's anniversary."

 

  They had 6 children:

  1. Lulu N. (b. 04 Jan 1881; d. 05 May 1936 in Kalamazoo, MI) See obituary below.
  2. Clarence Dudley (b. 16 June 1883; d. 1944) married Adeline Ida Mumford
  3. Rena Emily (b. 25 Aug 1885 in Lawton, MI; d. 13 Jan 1968 in Kalamazoo, MI). Buried in Oak Grove Cemetery
  4. Hale Adams (b. 18 Dec 1887 in Van Buren, MI; d. 27 Dec 1981 in Paw Paw, MI) married Beatrice E. Bale (b. 16 Sep 1890 in Antwerp Township; d. 01 April 1965 in Van Buren, MI). They had two children: Kenneth Waldwin and Hale Adams Thornton. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery
  5. Ralph Lee (b. 25 July 1891; d. 18 July 1956 in San Francisco, CA) married Bertha Clark
  6. Reed Franklin (b. 29 Oct 1893 in Van Buren, MI; d. 06 June 1992 in Kalamazoo, MI) married 1. Ocie Grice Chambers and 2. Betty Bayer.

 

Dr. Reed Thornton

Herald-Palladium (6-7-1992)

LAWTON - Dr. Reed F. Thornton, 98, of 1400 N. Drake Road, Kalamazoo, formerly of Lawton, died Saturday at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo.

  Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, Paw Paw, of which he was a member. There will be no visitation. Arrangements are by Thompson and Hawley Funeral HOme, Paw Paw. Memorials may be made to the church, the Shriners Childrens Hospital, Oak Park, Ill., or the Friendship VIllage Flower Fund.

 

  Dr. Thornton was born Oct. 29, 1893, in Porter Township. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Dentistry, in 1917. He practiced dentistry in CHicago until his retirement, in 1958. He was a member of Chicago Dental Association. Survivors include: his wife, Betty; and a daughter, Mrs. Kay DeBoer of Lawton.

 

 

Lucille Torrance Bride of Pfc. Hale Thornton (1944)

 The Methodist church in Paw Paw was the scene of a candle-light wedding ceremony Saturday evening, May 6, at 8 o'clock when Miss Lucille Elizabeth Torrance, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D.M. Torrance, Paw Paw, and Pfc. Hale A. Thornton, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Hale A. Thornton, Lawton, were united in marriage. The impressive service was read by Capt. A.R. Osborne, Chaplain, Camp Campbell, Ky. uncle of the bride, assisted by Rev. W.Y. Pohly, pastor of the church.

 

  Preceding the ceremony, Mrs. Lester Brown, South Bend, presented a program of instrumental music, and Miss Mary Jo Hawley, Paw Paw, sang "Because" and "Ave Maria" accompanied by Mrs. Brown.

 

  The bride was given in marriage by her father and her attendant was Miss Elen Tolman, South Bend. Mr. Robert Quiring, Kalamazoo, performed the duties of best man. Roger Osborne, small cousin of the bride, was the ringbearer, and the ushers were Edward Torrance and James E. Bale.

 

  The bride wore a gown of white marquisette over taffeta, styled en train, with a finger tip veil, and she carried an arm bouquet of white roses. Miss Tolman wore a gown of aqua taffeta with matching veil, and her bouquet was of white snapdragons and red roses.

 

  Following the service a reception was held in the church parlors. Mrs. Charles Lawton was mistress of ceremonies. Mrs. A.R. Osborne, Mrs. Robert Quiring, and Miss Fra Fritz presided at the service table, and their assistants were Mrs. Horace Fisk, Miss Patricia Hicks, Mrs. Dorothy Pomeroy, and Miss Martha Peabody.

 

 When Pfc. and Mrs. Thornton left for a wedding trip she wore a brown faille suit with brown and beige accessories and an orchid corsage.

 

  Mrs. Thornton is a graduate of Paw Paw high school and attended Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and Western Mich. College, Kalamazoo. Pfc. Thornton is a graduate of Lawton high school, attended Western Mich. College, and is now serving in the armored division of the army. He has recently returned to the States after spending 20 months in Alaska and the Aleutians. He will report for duty at Ft. Riley, Kansas, May 16. Mrs. Thornton will remain at her home in Paw Paw for the present.

 

Class of 1902 Is Represented
Miss Thornton At Lawton Alumni Dinner

(June 6, 1964)

Lawton – A highlight of the Lawton High School Alumni Association's annual dinner meeting was recognition of Miss Rena Thornton, a member of the Class of 1902, as the oldest graduate present.

 

  Miss Thornton taught in Van Buren county schools and later taught fifth grade at Lawton. She was given a leather billfold and a seat of honor among the Class of 1924 who were her pupils in the fifth grade. Mrs. Lynn McKee, of the Class of 1911, welcomed graduating seniors into the association and her grandson, Thomas Sherman, gave the response. Everett Wiles, of Bangor, spoke and showed pictures of his 1962 trip through Russian and Eastern Europe. More than 200 alumni attended the banquet catered by Mrs. Nyle Adamson of Paw Paw. Russell Hackenberg was elected association president for 1965.

 

St. Paul's Church Service in Lawton
(21 September 1966)
Lawton – An unusual dedicatory service took the place of the regular worship service Sunday morning at St. Paul's Methodist Church at Lawton. The Rev. Donald Russell, church pastor, instead of giving a sermon, led the congregation in singing hymns from new hymnals that were presented by family and friends as a memorial to Mrs. Beatrice Thornton. The choir, of whom Mrs. Thornton's son Hale is a member, used two of the favorite hymns as anthems and Mrs. Marian Stewart offered another as a solo. Mrs. Thornton, who died April 1, 1965, had given much of her time to church and Sabbath school work.

 

D.L. Thornton, Prominent Fruit Grower, Dies
Dudley L. Thornton, 83, one of the best known fruit growers of Porter township, died Monday morning at Lake View hospital, Paw Paw. He was taken to the hospital several weeks ago, and after receiving treatment there, was able to return to his home, and seemed to be feeling much better, but the relief proved to be only temporary, and he returned to the hospital Sunday morning.

 

  He was born in Kalamazoo county, January 6, 1860, the second son of Dudley and Nancy Julick Thornton. When he was but a small boy, the family moved to this community, which had been his home ever since. At one time the family lived on what is now the George Spencer farm, south of Lawton, and later resided on Second street in the house now occupied by the Leslie Hayward family.

 

  One of his childhood memories was the coming of the news of the death of President Lincoln.

 

  He attended the Lawton school, graduating with the class of 1879.

 

 On August 1, 1880, he was married to Miss Clara Adams, and they started housekeeping on the farm two miles southeast of Lawton, which remained their home for 62 years.

 

  Six children were born to them, two daughters and four sons. One daughter, Lucinda, died in 1936. Surviving, besides his wife, are the four sons, Clarence and Hale of Lawton, Ralph of San Francisco, Cal., and Reed of Chicago; one daughter, Rena, at home; and six grandchildren, tow of the grandsons being in the armed service of the United States.

 

  Mr. Thornton was a member of the Lawton Methodist church, the Porter Farmers Union, and a life member of the Masonic lodge. He was especially prominent as a fruit grower, and for 12 years served as president of the Southern Michigan Fruit Association. On his own farm, some 70 acres are devoted to the production of grapes, most of which were set out under his direction.

 

  Mr. Thornton was among the first in this vicinity to develop resort property. A portion of his farm adjoins Huzzy lake, and on its shores he erected several cottages.

 

  Throughout the years, the Methodist church has felt Mr. Thornton's influence in many ways. At the time the building was remodeled in 1909, he served as chairman of the building committee, and the success of the project was due in large measure to his careful supervision.

 

  On of his chief hobbies was music, and for many years he sang in the church choir, continuing to serve in that capacity until very recent years.

 

  Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon in the Methodist church which he served for so many years, with burial in Oak Grove cemetery, Rev. Ivan Hodgson, pastor of the church, officiated.

  The Masonic lodge conducted services at the grave.

 

Mrs. Clara Thornton, Porter Resident Dies
Mrs. Clara L. Thornton, wife of the late D.L. Thornton, passed away at her home near Lawton early Thursday morning, Feb. 28, 1946.

 

  Mrs. Thornton was a member of one of the pioneer families of Porter township. Her parents were Franklin B. and Lucinda Fletcher Adams. Mrs. Thornton was born Dec. 10, 1859. She was graduated from the Lawton high school in 1877 and then taught school for a short time.

 

  On August 1, 1880 she was married to Dudley L. Thornton and soon afterwards they came to the farm which had been her home ever since.

 

  She was the mother of six children, Lulu and Clarence deceased, Rena and Hale of Lawton, Ralph of San Francisco, and Dr. Reed Thornton of Chicago. Six grandchildren, Mrs. Jean Stewart and Andrew Thornton of Kalamazoo, Lee Thornton of San Francisco, Mary Kay Thornton of Chicago, Hale Jr. and Kenneth Thornton of Lawton; her step-mother, Mrs. Anna Adams of Lawton, and two half-brothers, F.K. Adams of Lawton and H.H. Adams of Paw Paw, also survive her.

 

  She became a member of the St. Paul's Methodist Church of Lawton in 1894, and as long as her health permitted she participated in the activities of the church and community. However, her chief interest was her home and family, and she will be remembered as a kind and loving wife and mother.

 

  Funeral services were held from the Cameron funeral home, Saturday afternoon, the Rev. Louis Ellinger officiating. Burial was in Oak Grove cemetery.

 

Beatrice E. (Bale) Thornton Obituary

Mrs. Beatrice Thornton of Lawton Dies
(01 April 1965)
Lawton – Mrs. Beatrice E. Thornton, 75, route 2, Lawton, active in Lawton civic, educational and community affairs, died at 7:30 a.m. Thursday in her home after being ill several months.

 

  Mrs. Thornton was born Sept. 16, 1890, in Antwerp township and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walwin Bale. She graduated from Paw Paw high school and taught in area rural schools. On June 24, 1918, she married Hale Thornton in Porter township. They established a farm home on County road 354 where they had lived ever since.

 

  Mrs. Thornton was active in Methodist church circles since early girlhood. She held all offices on the St. Paul's Methodist church Board and in the Sabbath school, where she taught youth and adult groups. She also served as secretary of the Van Buren County Red Cross Board, chairman of the Porter township Cancer Society, was a member of the St. Paul's Methodist church Women's Society of Christian Service, the Bible Guards Sabbath school class and the Van Buren County Farm Bureau.

 

  Survivors include her husband, Hale Thornton, Sr.; two sons, Hale, Jr. of Porter township and Kenneth of Alexandria, Va., and four grandchildren. Friends may call at the Prindle Funeral home in Lawton where services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Rev. Arthur DeFouw will officiate. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery in Lawton.

 

Hale Thornton
LAWTON -- Hale Adams Thornton Sr., 94, of Route 2, Lawton, died Sunday (27 Dec 1981) at Lake View Community Hospital, Paw Paw.

Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Thompson-Lawton Chapel, where funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Mr. Thornton was born Dec. 18, 1887, in Porter Township. He was a life long grape farmer in Porter Township. Survivors include: two sons -- Hale Jr. of Lawton and Kenneth of Mount Clemens; one brother, Dr. Reed Thornton of Kalamazoo; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Beatrice, preceded him in death in 1965.

 

Miss Lulu Thornton Died Tuesday Night
Funeral Services Will Be Held Friday at the Home in Porter

(1936 obituary)

  Funeral services will be held at the D.L. Thornton home Friday afternoon at 2:30 for Miss Lulu Thornton, who died in Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo, Tuesday evening at 8:15 o'clock.

 

  Miss Thornton had been ill for the past three weeks and was taken to the hospital last Thursday.

 

  The immediate cause of death was lymphatic leukemia, preceded by streptococcic sore throat.

 

  Miss Thornton was born in Lawton and had spent practically all her life in this vicinity. She attended the Lawton schools and the Ferris Institute, and was interested in art.

 

  She was a quiet, friendly lady and a loving helpful daughter. She will be greatly missed in the home and the community.

 

  Surviving are the parents, Mr. and Mrs. D.L. Thornton, four brothers, Clarence and Hale of Lawton, Dr. Reed Thornton, Chicago, and Ralph of San Francisco, also one sister, Rena of Lawton.

 

Mary "Kay" (Thornton) DeBoer Obituary

  Mary "Kay" DeBoer of Spring Hill, FL and formerly of Lawton passed away suddenly Saturday, August 21, 2004 at her home in Florida. Kay was born May 18, 1933 in Harvey, IL, the daughter of the late Reed Thornton and Ocie Grice. In September of 1978, Kay was united in marriage to Edward P. DeBoer, who preced her in death on August 14, 1990. Together with her husband, Edward DeBoer, Kay owned and managed the Kings tavern in Lawton. She was also preceded in death by 2 sons, Scott Kimble and Patrick Reynolds, both of Lawton; and her step-mother, Betty Thornton of Lawton. Surviving are a very special friend, Edward Wolownik of Paw Paw; Kay's children and grandchildren, Sandy (Jason) Fuller of Three Rivers (Shelby Kimble), Mike (Helen) Reynolds of Canada (Derrick and Ben Reynolds), Kevin Reynolds of Jacksonville, FL (Dustin Reynolds), Daniel (Justine) Reynolds of Seattle, WA (Katie Hansen), Tom (Trina) Reynolds of Lawton, Kathy (LaMarr) Brooks of Lawton, (Tonya (Greg) Brucks and Travis Brooks), Karen DeVries of Lawton, (Damon and Derek DeVries), Ed DeBoer of Kalamazoo, Karol Blatson of Lawton, (Jackie and Jamie Blatson); grandson, Michael Reynolds and other grandchildren and great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends Thursday, 6-8 p.m. at the Adams Funeral Home, Paw Paw where funeral services will be held Friday 11 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association. Share a memory or condolence on line at www.timeformemory.com/adams Published in the Kalamazoo Gazette on 8/24/2004.

(Newspaper article of 13 January 1968):

Miss. Rena Thornton
LAWTON – Miss Rena E. Thornton, 82, of rout 2, Lawton, died Saturday evening in Ridgeview Manor nursing home in Kalamazoo.
Miss Thornton was born in Lawton, Aug. 25, 1885. In 1902 she was graduated from Lawton high school and in 1914 received a degree from Kalamazoo Normal college.
She taught in several rural schools in the area and also in the Lawton elementary school.
She was a member and Sunday school teacher at St. Paul's Methodist church in Lawton.
Two brothers, Hale Thornton, Sr., and Dr. Reed Thornton of Lawton, survive.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Prindle funeral home, Lawton. The Rev. Donald Russell, pastor of St. Paul's Methodist church, will officiate.
Burial will follow in Oak Grove cemetery.

***
(Newspaper article of 13 January 1968):
THORNTON, Miss Rena E.
Rte. 2, Lawton -
Passed away at Ridgeview Manor Saturday evening. Miss Thornton was born August 25, 1885, in Porter Twp., the daughter of Dudley and Clara Thornton. She attended Kalamazoo College and graduated from Western Michigan University and had taught in the Lawton Public Schools. She was a member of St. Paul's Methodist Church and the Bible Guards. Miss Thornton is survived by 2 brothers, Hale Thornton and Dr. Reed Thornton, both of Lawton; several nieces and nephews. Friends may call at the Prindle Funeral Home, where services will be held Tuesday at 2 o'clock, Rev. Donald Russell officiating. Interment in Oak Grove Cemetery. The family suggests that memorials may be made to St. Paul's Methodist Church Building Fund.

 

Husband and Wife Both in Air Force
KALAMAZOO, Dec. 3 -- Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Thornton, 1227 Reycraft, are both serving in the Army Air Force, he as a sergeant stationed at Gowen Field, Boise, Ida., and she as a member of the WAACS in New York where she is doing technical work with the Army air raid warning services.

Thursday, December 3, 1942 (Probably Kalamazoo Gazette)

Kalamazoo Husband and Wife Serving in Army Air Forces
Andrew Thornton a Gunnery Sergeatnt, and Mrs. Thornton a WAAC Assigned to New York City
If anyone is wondering where to find either Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Thornton, formerly of Kalamazoo, this is to let them know that the place to look is in the army air forces.

Yes, impossible as it sounds, the Thorntons both are in the army airforces--probably the first Kalamazoo couple and maybe the first in the United States, to be assigned to the same branch of military service.

Thornton no longer is plain Mr. Thornton. He is Staff Sgt. Thornton, and he wears the silver wings of an airplane mechanic and aerial gunner since completing a training course at the Wendover Air Base in Utah, Friday, Nov. 13. He is now stationed at Gowen field, Boise, Idaho, a member of the 43rd Bomber Squadron.

Former Mill Shipping Clerk
Sgt. Thornton was inducted into the army last April 11 in Kalamazoo and after a few days at the reception center, Fort Custer, was sent to Chanute Field, Rantoul, Ill., and thence to the Wendover Gunnery school. Before entering service, he was a shipping clerk at the Sutherland Paper Company.

Sgt. Thornton was graduated from Vicksburg high school, is the son of Mrs. W. Baxter, Gobles, and A. Thornton, Lawton. He feels that graduating from the gunnery school on Friday, the 13th, is a good luck omen.

Assigned to New Work
Auxiliary Thornton, his wife, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Ketchum, Sr., 1227 Recraft Drive. She enlisted as a WAAC last Aug. 28, and was called to Fort Des Moines for training Oct. 10. She only recently went to New York to assume her duties wit the army air raid warning service, where she is doing not only clerical but some technical work.

Before entering the WAAC, Auxiliary Thornton was employed by the Miller Lumber Company here.

She has a brother who is also in the service -- Carl Ketchum, Jr., a fireman, first class, in the amphibious forces, United States Navy, and stationed at Little Creek, Va.

 

News Article with Thorntons in Uniform

 

Gunner Beats Wife Home From War(Kalamazoo Gazette) photos and caption

FLEW 17 STRAIGHT DAYS.
Fortress Gunner Gets Home, but Leaves His Wife, a WAC, in Africa
Technical Sargeant Andrew M. Thornton Completes 50 Missions ... One of Them a Brush with Death
By Harold Sharpsteen
Technical Sargeant Andrew M. Thornton, aerial gunner, flew 17 straight days last January to wind up his 50 allotted combat missions in the Mediterranean theatre of war, but, now that he is home, unscathed, he is not entirely satisfied with his present state of affairs.

He had to leave his wife, Private Adeline Thornton, behind in Africa where she is serving as a Wac with the U.S. signal corps. It is unlikely they will be reunited for at least another year, he says.

Serving as a top-turret gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress with the 15th U.S. air force, the former Sutherland Paper Company worker took part in the first Allied raids on Rome, Foggia and Naples. He also participated in bombing raids over Southern France, Greece, Bulgaria, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia after American flying forces moved to bases in Southern Italy.

Sgt. Thornton flew in the same squadron with Kalamazoo's Major Jack Sims on the first raid on Rome and he was in the same attack group with First Lt. Robert M. Fonner the morning the latter lost his life over Messina straits between Sicily and Italy.

"Fonner and I got our training together at Boise, Ida., and went overseas together. Our bombers were in the same wave over Messina, the day he was killed," said Thornton.

Had a Brush with Death
The former Kalamazoo Central and Vicksburg high school student entered the army April 11, 1942 at Fort Custer, and Mrs. Thornton, formerly Adeline Ketchum, followed him into the service Aug. 28 of the same year.

May 29, 1943 found Sgt. Thornton on his way overseas and the following Sept. 3, Mrs. Thornton received her assignment to Northern Africa.

Sgt. Thornton flew on his first mission July 3, 1943 over Canicatta, Sicily, when Allied air forces were preparing the way for the Sicilian invasion immediately following the Tunisian campaign. His last mission took him over Ancona, Itlay, last Jan. 29.

It was while on his 47th bombing mission, a raid over Marseille, France that Sgt. Thornton had his closest brush with death, he says.

"We left our base in Southern Italy shortly before dawn the morning of Jan. 26 and headed across the mountains for Southern France, escorted by a squadron of P-38's. But, Jerry must have known we were coming," said Sgt. Thornton.

"U.S. P-38's roared out to meet them and succeeded in pulling about 20 of them off to one side to keep them clear of our bombers, but somehow the remainder of the group broke through the P-38 air defense and came after us.

"Flak was coming up from below at the same time, but the German fighter pilots flew through their own barrage to get to us.

"Every gun on the Flying Fortress was blazing away in a concentrated fire against them, but a half dozen 109's kept hammering away at our bomber and finally landed three 20 millimeter cannon shells in our tail assembly, tearing out big holes nearly 30 inches square. One enemy shell also tore half of our vertical stabilizer and our bomber sides were riddled with smaller bullet holes."

Sgt. Thornton said his pilot at first could not determine what had happened to the ship so he dropped out of formation to prevent collision with other planes of the attack flight.

For seconds, that seemed like hours to the Kalamazoo youth, his plane staggered alone, exposed to enemy attack. Incessant shell fire from the Fortress held off the German fighters until the pilot righted the ship and rejoined his formation.

"During the few seconds that we faltered, the 109's sailed into us with everything they had. Somehow we managed to weather the attack and we continued on to drop our bombs on our target.

Only One Man Injured
"Our tail gunner, nicked twice in the neck by shell fragments, was the only member of our crew to be injured, but the plane looked like a sieve when we finally got safely back to our base.

"Our biggest scare came during the height of the air battle, when an 88-millimeter, time-fused shell crashed through our left wing, barely missing a gas tank. The shell tore a big hole in the wing, fortunately for all of us it exploded about 15 feet clear of the plane.

"I think I lost about 10 pounds on that 47th mission, but at the time, I was anxious to get my job over with, so I accepted assignmetns on other bombers the next three consecutive days.

"After completing the 50th mission, Sgt. Thornton went to Africa where he joined his wife for a few weeks before finally embarking for home.

Sgt. Thornton arrived in Kalamazoo, March 20 on a 21-day delayed-enroute leave. He reports April 17 to Atlantic City, N.J., for re-classification and re-assignment.

"Naturally the thrill of returning home was dulled considerably by the thougths that Adeline is still in Africa, 4,000 miles away," said the youth. "But we are both in good health and are willing to wiat for the time when we can be back together again."

Prior to entering the service, Wac Pvt. Thornton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Ketchum, 1227 Reycraft drive, was emplyed by the Miller Lumber Company. She has a brother, Carl Jr., serving in the U.S. Navy.

The Thorntons were married Oct. 6, 1939 at the home of the bride's parents.

 

Reunion in North Africa(Associated Press Photo from the Kalamazoo Gazette)
Sgt. and Mrs. Andrew Thornton
Sergeant Andrew M. Thornton, Flying Fortress aerial engineer, fondly clasps the hand of his wife, Private First Class Adeline A. Thornton, Wac, after they were re-united in North Africa. They had not seen each other in five months. He landed in North Africa after a bombing mission over Sicily and found his wife ironing at the Wac barracks. Their home is in Kalamazoo.