He graduated from Chattanooga High School in 1942 and went to work for Gilman Paint & Varnish Co. He enlisted in the US Army with the intention of becoming an aircraft mechanic.

Aircraft B-17F with serial number 42-5225 was on a bombardment mission to Schweinfurt in Germany. The aircraft was one of the low element. Enemy aircraft must have wiped out the entire element on the first attack. Aircraft 42-5225 crashed near Balen, Belgium. Walter Brown and Edgar Yelle were the only survivors.

Crew members
Pilot, 2nd Lt Don S. Von Der Heyde
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Donald Primeau
Navigator, 2nd lt Edgar J. Yelle
Bombardier, 2nd Lt Walter S. Brown Jr.
Engineer, T/Sgt Peter Comac
Assistant Engineer, Sgt Homer J. Mitts Jr.
Radio Operator, S/Sgt John R. Klopolsky
Assistant Radio Operator, S/Sgt William F. Wannemacher
Tail Gunner, S/Sgt Mack D. Walton
Waist Gunner, S/Sgt Dick L. Sparman

His body was initially interred at the Enemy Cemetery in Antwerpen-Deurne, Belgium and later reburied at Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Belgium, D, 6, 32

“I am Homer’s great niece. My grandfather, Russell, was his little brother.”
–Submitted by Hollie Stockman

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