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Mokane WW II pilot honored with memorial in France

Lt. Delbert Schmid’s grand niece, Beth Wilson, right, stands at the memorial to Schmid (pictured left) dedicated last month in France. With her are French citizens Mr. and Mrs. Alain Wahrenberger, who helped arrange the memorial.

Lt. Delbert Schmid’s grand niece, Beth Wilson, right, stands at the memorial to Schmid (pictured left) dedicated last month in France. With her are French citizens Mr. and Mrs. Alain Wahrenberger, who helped arrange the memorial.

For many years the family of 2nd Lt. Delbert E. Schmid of Mokane believed he died when his Army Air Corps plane was shot down by Germans in France during World War II.

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Contributed photo

Lt. Delbert E. Schmid

Harold Tennyson, who grew up in Mokane, said his uncle was a member of the 392nd Fighter Squadron of the 367th Fighter Group. The American fighter plane Schmid was piloting near Normandy was shot down by German artillery on July 3, 1944, about one month after the June 6 D-Day American invasion along the Normandy coast.

“American military officials notified our family back in Mokane that Delbert had died when his plane was shot down but not much else,” Tennyson said.

The family received a Purple Heart and they eventually were told that Schmid was buried in the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, the American invasion site along the Normandy coast.

The official date of Schmid’s death was set at July 3, 1944.

But Schmid didn’t die on that date.

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