PVT in 406th Engineer Combat Co
Military occupational specialty: 78 (electrician)
Born 1909 in MI, Died 1958
County of residence at enlistment: Marion County, IN
Other residence(s): Kalamazoo, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Ann Arbor Township, MI
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: semiskilled welders and flame cutters
Ilow Doolittle was born on July 22, 1909 in Kalamazoo, MI, the oldest of four children. His father was a laborer in a buggy works and later worked in a paper mill. He grew up in Kalamazoo, finishing two years of high school there. Shortly after his 18th birthday, on July 26, 1927, he married Marguerite Irene Thomas in Oshtemo, MI (a neighborhood of Kalamazoo); at the time he was working as a mail carrier in Kalamazoo.
Ilow and Marguerite had four children in six years: Arlene, Gerald, Jane, and James. The marriage broke up in 1934; both before and after the divorce Ilow was charged with non-support.
Looking for a new start he married Mary Uminn on November 1, 1937 in Indiana. When he registered for the draft, on October 16, 1940, he was living in Kalamazoo, and working at Ingersoll Steel & Disc. When he enlisted, on May 4, 1942, he was living in Indianapolis, IN and working as a welder at Metal Industries, Inc.
Ilow was assigned to the 293rd Engineers; the men of his company were transferred to the 406th Engineer Combat Company in April of 1944, and he served in Europe with the unit.
Ilow was hospitalized in March, 1945 with back issues incurred in the line of duty, and he was invalided home. He was discharged on September 22, 1945. He had served as a Staff SGT with the H&S Co. of the 293rd, but his rank was PVT by the time he was transferred to the 406th. His gravestone identifies him as a SGT.
He married Jane Marie Hastings Solomon in Indiana on May 9, 1947 and they had a daughter, Sally. In 1949 they were still living together in Indianapolis, and he was working at Zenite Metal Corp there. But by 1950 he was divorced and back in Kalamazoo, living with his parents and working as a die setter with a stove company.
The last record found for him, prior to his death, was in 1953 when he was working as an assembler with National Water Lift and living by himself in Kalamazoo.
He was a resident of Ann Arbor Township, MI when he died on May 13, 1958. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo.
1927 marriage record (1st marriage)
1934 article in the Kalamazoo Gazette (MI) about his being found guilty of non-support
1934 divorce record (1st marriage)
1935 article in the Kalamazoo Gazette (MI) re his non-payment of alimony
1937 marriage record (2nd marriage)
1940 draft card
1942 Indianapolis city directory
1942 enlistment record
1945 US WW2 Hospital Admission Card Files
1947 marriage record (3rd marriage)
1949 Indianapolis city directory
1953 Kalamazoo city directory
1958 Find a Grave record
1958 Michigan death records
1958 US headstone applications for military veterans