A recent eBay purchase turned out to be from an obscure Marine Nightfighter (airplanes) unit stationed in the PTO during the tail end of WWII. Included in the album are many shots of planes, tropical scenes, buildings, trucks and veteran “buddies”. I always try to do research on name in the hopes of tracking down a living veteran. I’ve succeeded on a number of occasions, but the search usually ends unfulfilled. In this case, I was able to successfully track down the veteran. Sadly, he passed way a few months back, but I’m hoping to contact one of the living relatives.
Here’s a copy of the obituary which I found on a public website:
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:00 am
Henry H. ‘Heinie’ Thellman, 85, of Tampa, Florida, peacefully passed away on Thursday, January 26, 2012 in the University Hospital of Tampa. Born February 21, 1926 in West Mayfield, he was the son of Daniel and Regina (Untch) Thellman.
He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He had been employed by the Kohlmann Bottling Co. and Babcock & Wilcox Co. He was a member of the Beaver Falls Owls Club where he was steward for many years.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his beloved wife, Pauline (Frier) Thellman; a daughter, Tammy; his son, Mark, and three brothers, Steve, Daniel and Richard.
He will be dearly missed by a daughter, Paula (Jeff) Jones, and three grandchildren, Megan Jones, Lauren and Alex Thellman, all of Tampa, Florida. Also surviving are his sister, Regina (Jennie) Karczewski, Chippewa Twp.; a brother, Michael Thellman, West Mayfield; sisters-in-law, Loretta Thellman, West Mayfield, and Margaret Thellman of East Palestine, OH; a brother-in-law, Walter (Dutch) Frier and his wife Betty, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial will be held at a later date.
Without a doubt the same veteran. Maybe the family would like to see photos from the album?
Further research shows that Henry was one of four brothers who all served in the Marines during WWII. What a family!
8 thoughts on “WWII Marine Nightfighter Unit – VMA-542 – Identified Photo! – Henry H. Thellman of Beaver Falls, PA”
A special picture – I love the look on his fave, and great research.
thanks for sharing.
Thanks Bill! Lets hope the family finds this site. I would love to have someone find a photo of my grandfather!
I don’t know if any of the other family members have reached out to you, but I am Henry Thellman’s granddaughter.
Henry Thellman is my grandpa. Thank you for sharing the photos. So glad i happened to find this site!
Glad you were able to find my website! How can I help? I think I sent one of your cousins the original photo.
I live in West Mayfield, PA, where the Thellman family is well known. In fact, Dan Thellman was once the mayor of the borough–a position that my father now holds.
If you have not reached the Thellman family, I can certainly make the connection.
BTW, I am the founder of a nonprofit oral history organization that specializes in local veterans’ stories. Actually, I didn’t know about the Thellman family story until now. This might lead to an interview. Please check us out at http://veteranvoicesofpittsburgh.com
Regards, Kevin Farkas
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