BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Earl Alfred Evanoff, Frank August Kohn and Robert Lee Weisenberger never made it home. The Monclova Township residents served during World War II and were killed in action.
On Veterans Day, plaques honoring the three men were dedicated during a small ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. While located in Whitehouse, the park was created to recognize all Anthony Wayne-area veterans, said Louann Artiaga.
Destination Whitehouse, a nonprofit organization that raised funds for the park that was opened in 2019, verifies the histories of those who are included on the wall.
Veterans Leroy Ryerson, Dave Prueter and Rob Casaletta read biographies of the three men to Whitehouse Primary fourth-graders.
Earl Alfred Evanoff was born on January 5, 1923 to Velico Evanoff and Sarah Morrow. He lived on LaPlante Road and attended Monclova School. Evanoff was working for C&O Railroad in Walbridge when he went to Camp Perry on November 27, 1942 to enlist in the Army Air Corps at the age of 19. Earl was a staff sergeant and was assigned as a gunner to the 785th Bomber Squadron, 466th Bomber Group.
On July 28, 1944, at the age of 21, he was one of 10 crew members on a plane that took off from Attlebridge, England on a bombing mission. Shortly after takeoff, the B-24 stalled out and crashed at the end of Runway 27 near Hockering Heath. The fuel tanks exploded, and then two of the 1,000-pound bombs went off, killing the entire crew.
Evanoff is buried in Cambridge, England. He received the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters upon his death.
Frank August Kohn II was born on December 16, 1916 to Frank A. Kohn II and Helen Gileo. Frank attended Clay High School and worked as a filer for Dochler Die Casting in Toledo, but at the time of his enlistment he lived on Eber Road in Monclova.
On November 24, 1938, he married Dorthea Cunningham. He enlisted on July 23, 1943 at the age of 27. Kohn was a sergeant in the Army Air Force, assigned as a radio operator to the 577th Bomber Squadron, 392nd Bomber Group.
Kohn’s plane went missing over Garbeck, Germany on January 28, 1945 – when he was 28 years old. He is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
Robert Lee Weisenberger was born on January 22, 1923 to Carl Weisenberger and Hilda Rose Lindecker. He graduated from Central Catholic High School and moved to Coder Road in Monclova. He was in his first year of college at Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario, when he enlisted in the Army on December 31, 1942. He was 19 years old and held the rank of private first class.
Weisenberger served in Battery D, 203rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion. He was killed in action on October 20, 1944 in Someran, Holland. He was 21. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Toledo.
Veterans Memorial Park is located at 6710 Providence St. in Whitehouse. In addition to plaques honoring those killed in action, the park features pavers honoring area veterans. Sections of the park have information about the branches of the military, first responders and major conflicts throughout history.