39th Bomb Group (VH)

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S/Sgt Leonard L. Celmer
Right Gunner

Leonard was born Nov. 6, 1925, in Ravenna, Neb., to Leon and Angela Wieczorek Celmer. He moved with his family to the Homedale area (Idaho) in 1937. He graduated from Homedale High school.

He was inducted on 23 Dec 1943. On January 12 1944, he entered into active duty in the Army Air Corps entering from Boise, Idaho. He trained at the AAFTS (Army Air Force Training School) Scott Field, IL as a Radio Operator and at at Ft. Myers, FL as an Aerial Gunner. (Leonard noted that his missions were some what different from those of crewmate Otto Seier because "sometimes you subbed on another crew or you had a sub on your plane."

He married Jean Becker on February 20, 1945 in Salina, KS just a month and a half prior to his crew's deployment 12 April 1945. To this union two children were born, Lee and Donna. They were later divorced. They have 3 grandsons, Eric, Kurt and Justin.

He returned to the United States 5 Nov 1945 and discharged from the 60th BS, 39th BG at the rank of Staff Sergeant on 6 January 1945 - Jefferson Barracks, MO Separation Center.

He was also in the USAF Civil Air Patrol obtaining the rank of Major and was involved in Military and Civilian Search and Rescues.

He also obtained his commerical pilot's license.

He married Marie Marston Hodge on Dec. 27, 1967. He owned Spud’s Super Service, a gas station, in Caldwell (ID) for several years. In 1957 he started working for Caldwell Auto Supply as an outside salesman, retiring after 27 years.

He was a member of St. Hubert’s Catholic Church, and later Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Caldwell, charter lifetime member of the VFW Post 11065 in Wilder. Leonard was awarded the All State Team Post Commander award in 1993-1994.

He loved to hunt until his knees wouldn’t allow that any more. Spud and Marie did spend many happy hours trout fishing on the Cascade and C.J. Strike Reservoirs.

Leonard L. “Spud” Celmer Sr., 80, died Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006, at a Caldwell care center. Mass of Christian Burial was be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Caldwell. Interment followed at the Wilder Cemetery, with Military Rites by the VFW Post #11065, Wilder.

Crew 12 Main Page
60th Squadron Crew Index
Source: Obituary for Leonard L. Celmer posted on Idaho Press Tribune web site 2/22/06; WWII Enlistment Records; Leonard Celmer, Aug 2002