SOUTHAMPTON - Willard "Willy" M. Sherman, 91, of Southampton, passed Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.
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He was born Feb. 27, 1922, in Southampton, the son of the late Fred and Regina (Marcotte) Sherman. He attended Southampton schools and Smith Vocational.
Willard was a World War II Army Air Force veteran serving as an airplane armorer gunner. He participated in 20 combat missions as a gunner on B24 Liberator Bomber in European Theatre over Italy, Yugoslavia, Germany, Romania, Austria, and Hungary, manning 50 calibre guns in combat flight. He was shot down over the Polesti oil fields in Romania, and was captured by the enemy, where he spent six months as a Romanian prisoner of war. He was released when the war ended. He received the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Campaign Ribbon, Purple Heart, and Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He was discharged Aug. 22, 1945, with the rank of staff sergeant.
Willard was married to Frances Hall Sherman for 68 years, who passed in 2013. He was employed by Lyman Sheet Metal Company retiring in 1987.
Early on he spent his free time riding horses, Indian Motor Cycles and rebuilding Model T's. Later on he spent his free time with his grandchildren and enjoyed watching them play sports. He will be missed by all.
Willard is survived by his daughter Diane Sturges, his three grandchildren, Chery, Jimmy and Michelle and his three great-grandchildren, Izzy, Eli and Luke.
Military service conducted by the American Legion Dalton LaVallee Post 224 of Easthampton, will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. in the Mitchell Funeral Home, 15 Park St., Easthampton.
Visiting hours will precede the service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A gathering at Mr. Sherman's home will follow the service at 6 Fomer Road, Southampton, MA. Burial will be in the Spring.
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Mitchell Funeral Home
15 Park Street Easthampton, MA 01027
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 6, 2014