Colonel Harold Z. Ohlmeyer, 90, passed away on September 22, 2010. Harold was born to Charles and Elma Ohlmeyer on October 1, 1919 in Franklin, LA. Harold married Sylvia Irene Matthews of Eden, Mississippi on December 29, 1944. They had three children: Beverly, Bill, and Ronald.
Harold attended college at Saint Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas where he played football, tennis, and was the three state light heavy weight boxing champion for two years. After the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor Harold entered active duty in the Army Air Corps in January 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He was sent to Midland, Texas where he trained as a bombardier and remained as a ground school instructor at this station until August 1943. From December 1943 until December 1944 he served in North Africa and Italy as a bombardier in B-24 aircraft participating in 51 combat missions. On July 15, 1944 (455th BG mission #78) a mission was flown to attack the German oil production facilities at Dacio Romano Oil refinery at Ploesti, Romania. Captain Ohlmeyer was the Bombardier of the lead aircraft. The Group bombed by "Pathfinder" equipment, due to a heavy concentration of smoke pots that had been installed in the area as part of the defense. Only select crews and Bombardiers were qualified in the Pathfinder system of Bombing. The 455th Group was to lead a maximum effort by the Wing of 165 B-17s and 542 B-24s. The fighter escort was comprised of 231 P-51s and 153 P-38s. A total of 155 B-24s were to strike the specific target of Dacio Romano Oil Refinery. All aircraft were led to the target by the lead aircraft and released on Captain Ohlmeyer's position marking. The target was destroyed. As the squadron Bombardier, he achieved one of the highest bomb scoring percentages in the United States Air Force.
After returning from the war Colonel Ohlmeyer completed many assignments around the world retiring on August 26, 1968. Colonel Ohlmeyer's final assignment was as Special Assistant to the Director for Satellite Programs of the Space and Missile Systems Organization. Colonel Ohlmeyer received the following awards and decorations: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Longevity Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster. His Military Flight Ratings were Command Navigator Badge and Master Missileman Badge.
Upon retirement Colonel Ohlmeyer, his wife Irene, and son Ronald moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi. While in Yazoo City he was headmaster at Manchester Academy, and then headmaster at Cruger-Tchula Academy. Later he worked for the State in the Mental Health program running the county office in Yazoo City and then the district office in Vicksburg. He loved to play golf at the Yazoo City Country Club and fish in a "Secret" place. Colonel Ohlmeyer and Ronald attended a military reunion for one of the organizations that he commanded and a golf tournament was initiated in his honor as an annual event.
He is preceded in death by wife, Sylvia Irene; and six brothers/sisters.
He is survived by daughter, Beverly Lavin and husband, Paul; son, Bill and wife, Kathy; and son, Ronald and wife, Paula; grandchildren, Scott and wife, Chris, Jennifer and husband, Paul, Bill Jr., Christopher and wife, Erika, Steven and wife, Katie; great grandchildren, Sasha, Ava, Rachel, Grace, Austin, Tyler, Jenna, Evelyne, and Gabriella. He is also survived by brother, Charles; sister, Joyce Stubban; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation is on Friday, September 24, 2010, 5-7pm at Wright-Ferguson Funeral Home in Ridgeland, Mississippi. On Saturday, September 25, 2010, 11am - 1pm visitation will be at Stricklin-King Funeral Home in Yazoo City followed by a service, at 1pm at Stricklin-King Chapel in Yazoo City, Mississippi.
Graveside Services with military honors, September 25th, following the Chapel service at Tranquil Cemetery, Free Run, Mississippi.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Tranquil Cemetery, 273 Davey Drive, Benton MS 39039.
The family would like to thank caregivers who helped provide loving care including St. Catherine's, Campbell Cove staff, Sta-Home Health Services Canton Office, and Prime Care Nursing especially Kendal Ball, Linda Sallis and Shana Thompson.
Published in Clarion Ledger on Sep. 24, 2010.