Howard Charles Wormwood
T/4 in Signal Co, Special
Military occupational specialty: 97 (installer repairman, telephone and telegraph)
Born 1913 in VT, Died 1954
County of residence at enlistment: Windsor County, VT
Other residence(s): St. Johnsbury, VT (1950s, Martin spreadsheet); Barnet, VT; Wilder (Hartford), VT
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: power station operators
Howard Wormwood was born on February 7, 1913 in East Barnet, VT, the elder of two sons. His father was a woodworker.
Howard graduated from McIndoes Academy, the local public high school, where he was a basketball star. He went to work for Roy Brothers in St. Johnsbury; his father worked there also (and had probably been there for some time). Roy Brothers were manufacturers of wooden ware and said to be the largest croquet factory in the world at the time—producing 40,000 sets in 1924.
Roy Brothers succumbed to both fire and flood in the subsequent years, and never really recovered from a 1938 fire. By then, Howard had gone to work as a plant operator at Green Mountain Power Corp in 1937, though he was briefly back at Roy in 1938. In 1939, he was a power plant operator at Olcott Falls Company in Wilder (a village in Hartford, VT). (His father, who had also lost his job at Roy, went to work as a teacher of building trades at St. Johnsbury High School, a position he held well into the 1950s.)
Howard registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 and enlisted on December 26, 1942. He was eventually assigned to the Signal Company Special; a March, 1944 newspaper article shows him recently transferred to Camp Forrest, TN. He saw service in Europe with the unit, repairing communications lines—often in forward positions. His brother Clyde also served in the Army during the war.
A July 1945 newspaper article reports that Howard "participated in getting the message through from the beaches of Normandy to deep into Germany. . . . Their work was very secretive, and in some areas they were not allowed any communication with anyone outside their unit."
He was discharged from the Army with the rank of T/4 in October, 1945 and returned to his power plant work at the Olcott Falls Company in Wilder. He was also active in the American Legion.
Howard died on April 29, 1954 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His obituary poignantly reports that he was "known and loved by all for his sunny disposition, acts of kindness, and friendliness."
He is buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Barnet, VT.
1930 from Ancestry
1913 birth record
1933 St. Johnsbury VT city directory
1937 article in the Burlington Daily News (VT) re his taking a job with Green Mountain Power
1937 Barre VT city directory
1938 St. Johnsbury VT city directory
1939 St. Johnsbury VT city directory
1940 draft card
1941 Lebanon NH city directory
1942 enlistment record
1944 article in The Caledonian-Record (VT) re his military service
1945 article in The Caledonian-Record (VT) re his return from overseas
1954 obituary in The Caledonian-Record (VT)
1954 obituary in The Caledonian-Record (VT) with biographical details
1954 US Headstone Application for Military Veterans
1954 Vermont death record
1954 Find a Grave Record
1956 St. Johnsbury Trade School yearbook (re his father)
History of Roy Brothers Company (1925-1938)