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2nd Lieutenant Werner S. Leu
2nd Lieutenant Werner S. Leu

Stories Behind The Stars

A series that honors more than 421,000 Americans that lost their lives in World War II. 

Fallen soldiers from Lafayette County are currently being highlighted in the Monroe Times. For Green County, see the archives at

To learn more about the project, visit

During World War II, the 871st Bombardment Squadron activated in 1943 and was assigned to the 497th Bombardment Group at El Paso Army Air Base in Texas. Training also occurred at Pratt Army Air Field in Kansas. There were reorganizations before they departed the U.S. to participate in the Pacific Theater of Operations with a home base at Isley Field in Saipan beginning in September of 1944. In October of 1944 they began a bombing campaign on the islands of Japan until the war’s end on Aug. 15, 1945. They returned to the U.S. in November of 1945 and inactivated at MacDill Field, Florida in March of 1946.

Second Lieutenant Werner Samuel Leu served with the 871st Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces.

Werner Samuel Leu was born on December 7, 1917 in Lafayette County to Samuel and Lina (Zaugg) Leu.

From the 1920 U.S. Census, the Leu family lived in Darlington Township in Lafayette County. The household included father Sam, mother Lena, and children Walter, Frieda, Otto, Edward, Barbara, Clara, Emma E., Louisa, William and Werner S. Father Sam was a farmer in general farming. Son Walter was a farm laborer on the home farm for wages.

From the 1930 U.S. Census, the family remained in Darlington. The household included father Sam, mother Lena, and children Otto, Bertha, Louisa, William, Werner and Anna W. They owned their own farm. Father Sam was a farmer and son Otto was a farm laborer.

From the 1940 U.S. Census, Werner Lew (sic) was a hired man living with John Bohren and family in Blue Mounds Township in Dane County. Werner was 22 and had 4 years of high school. He had lived in rural Iowa County in Wisconsin in 1935. He was a cheesemaker working in a cheese factory, as was John Bohren.

On October 16, 1940, Werner Samuel Leu registered for the WWII Draft. He was 22 years old. His fiancé, Miss Thresia Genevieve Sutter, was the person who would always know his address. She lived in Mt. Horeb. Werner lived with John Bohren in Blue Mounds and worked at the Kaestner-Henze Cheese Co. in Mt. Horeb.

On Jan. 24, 1941 Werner Leu enlisted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for service in the U.S. Army prior to U.S. involvement in WWII. Leu was single without any dependents. He had 4 years of high school and was employed in “semiskilled warehousing, storekeeping, handling, loading, unloading and related occupations.”

From the Feb. 4, 1945 Wisconsin State Journal article, “4 Area Men Who Recently Visited Families,” the article included the notice for Mt. Horeb that “Second Lieut. Werner S. Leu, bombardier on a B-29, recently visited his wife and baby son in Mt. Horeb. He is stationed at Lincoln Neb. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Leu, Darlington.”

From the Aug. 4, 1945 Wisconsin State Journal, article titled “Lieut. Werner Leu Killed in Pacific,” the article stated “Lieut. Werner S. “Sammy” Leu, 27, bombardier on a B-29, was killed while flying from Saipan, the war department Friday in formed (sic) his wife at Mt. Horeb...”

From the Jan. 19, 1949 Wisconsin State Journal notice “Rites for Lieut. Leu Set at Darlington,” the notice stated “The body of Lieut. Werner “Sammy” Leu, 27, Darlington, will arrive in Darlington Thursday.

Uniformed members of the Bates-O’Brien post of the American Legion, the Darlington high school band and various civic organizations will escort the body to the Nelson-Sharer funeral home where funeral services will be held …

Before his induction into the service Lieut. Leu worked in a Mt. Horeb cheese factory. After receiving his basic training, he became a mess sergeant and for a time was stationed in Alaska.

Returning from Alaska, he entered officers training school at Ft. Ord, Calif. After receiving his commission, he became a member of a B-29 crew and was stationed at Saipan. He was killed in action July 9, 1945 when his plane crashed on a take off.

He is survivored (sic) by his wife, Theresa, a son, James R., Mt. Horeb, his mother Mrs. Lena Leu, Darlington, three brothers, Walter, Otto, and William, all of Darlington, and five sisters, Mrs. Merle Short, Mrs. Emma P. Eusher, both of Darlington; Mrs. Ruben P. Robson, Mt. Horeb, and Bertha and Louise, both of Rockford, Ill.”

2nd Lt. Werner S. Leu was repatriated and reburied in Union Cemetery in Darlington. He is listed on the WWII Honor Roll for Lafayette County.  He received the Purple Heart and the Air Medal, awarded posthumously

Thank you, 2nd Lieutenant Warner Samuel Lieu for your service to and ultimate sacrifice for this country. We honor you and remember you.