A Frisky Mystery: The Loss of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt

Roger P. Trevitt is not apparently mentioned in The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O., published in 1946. Not in the general history section, not the organizational sections, nor in the membership directory at the end of the book.

He’s not found in the official history of the group either. Not in the troop listing for those who went overseas in early 1944, nor in the monthly mentions of newly assigned personnel, nor any mention of him in the monthly narrative portions of the history.

But according to the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) which oversees the military cemeteries overseas, Roger P. Trevitt, service number O-910873, was an officer assigned to the Headquarters, 371st Fighter Group. His body is interred in the Rhone American Cemetery in Draguignan, southern France, at Plot B, Row 10, Grave 8. The Find A Grave website provides photo evidence of his association with the group.

Roger P Trevitt grave marker

Cross marking the grave of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt in the Rhone American Cemetery, France.  (Courtesy of Find A Grave.com)

So, what else do we know about Roger P. Trevitt? The information on the ABMC website indicates he died on 9 July 1945, after the war, while the group was assigned to Fürth/Industriehafen Airfield (R-30) in occupied Germany.

Page 23 of the War Department’s Honor List of Dead and Missing for the State of Texas (June 1946) has a listing of military casualties from Dallas County, Texas, and indicates Roger P. Trevitt’s death was DNB, a non-battle death.

He was a First Lieutenant at the time of his death, so had been in the service for more than a couple of years.

According to the HonorStates.org website, Trevitt received two military awards, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. This would suggest that he served in the United States in some unit with a defensive role prior to going over to Europe.   The absence of a medal for the European-African-Middle Eastern campaign is perhaps odd, given Trevitt presumably died in Europe.

It’s unknown why he is absent from the Group’s war book (The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O.) and official histories.  Perhaps he was a new postwar arrival in the unit, and was lost in the shuffle of personnel in and out of the group.  New guys don’t garner much attention among older hands hankering to return home.  And by July, 1945, the group’s war book draft was well-along in development and would go to military censors in late August in pre-publication coordination actions.  Perhaps Trevitt arrived too late in the unit to be mentioned.

As for what connection the 371st Fighter Group has with southern France, The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O. (Chapter 6, page 51) mentions that after the move to Metz Airfield (Y-34) in eastern France in mid-February, 1945, leaves began in earnest, and makes mention of pilots beginning rest and recreation leaves in the Riviera of southern France while ground officers and enlisted men went on 48-hour passes to Paris. Seven day leaves to England also began.

It is only speculation to surmise that Lt. Trevitt may have died while on leave in southern France. But absent any other information at this time, this would appear to be only a possibility.

If anyone knows something more about the fate of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt, please contact the writer of this web log by leaving a comment.
References

The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O., Army & Navy Pictorial Publishers, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1946

371st Fighter Group official histories, April, 1944 through August, 1945

Roger P. Trevitt, entry in ABMC Burials and Memorials Database, at: https://www.abmc.gov/node/546901#.Vl0dUeL3i7N

Roger P. Trevitt, Service Details, at HonorStates.org: http://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=344465

War Department Honor List of Dead and Missing for the State of Texas (June 1946), accessed on the Fold3 military historical research subscription website on 30 November 2015

Roger P. Trevitt, entry with images in Find A Grave website, at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=trevitt&GSfn=roger&GSmn=p&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=56511387&df=all&

American Campaign Medal, Wikipedia entry, at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Campaign_Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal, Wikipedia entry, at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European-African-Middle_Eastern_Campaign_Medal

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4 Responses to A Frisky Mystery: The Loss of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt

  1. James Jennings says:

    Looking for anyone who knew or flew with
    William J Daley please reply with any information

  2. James Jennings says:

    William J Daley looking for anyone who knew or flew with my Uncle Thanks

  3. Pingback: Memorial Day 2020 | 371st Fighter Group

  4. Pingback: A Flying Memorial and Tribute to William Gorman, 405th Fighter Squadron | 371st Fighter Group

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