James Womer

1st Lt James L Womer was assigned to the 459th BG 758th Squadron.

BEMENT -- James L. Womer, 92 of Bement, IL., passed away at 10:00 P.M., on Monday, September 15, 2014 at the Piatt County Nursing Home, Monticello, IL.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at the Roux–Hinds Funeral Home, 348 N. Piatt St., Bement, IL. Private graveside services will be held. The Rev. Marsha Frederick will officiate. Burial with military graveside rites by the Albert Parker American Legion Post #620 will be in the Bement Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Halcyon Unit at the Piatt County Nursing Home, Monticello, IL. or the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.

Jim was born on July 23, 1922 in Conemaugh, PA., one of 9 children, a son of John Riter and Mary Tilley Womer. He married Mary Belle Lefever on August 15, 1942 in Houston, TX., she passed away on May 5, 1985. He later married Ruth L. Hale on May 24, 1986, in Bement, IL., and she passed away on April 23, 2014. Surviving children include; Deena (Paul) Noel-Horberg of Champaign, IL., Laddie (Sandra) Wright of Bement, IL., Stan Wright of Urbana, IL., Alex (Vicky) Wright of Bement, IL. Surviving grandchildren include; Mary (Zach Stefan) Noel, Nicholas Noel, Casey Horberg, Logan Horberg, Laura (Chris) Bair, Paul (Holly) Fuson, Stephen (Gwen) Wright, Tara Wright, Jesse (Julie) Wright, Elaina (Clay) Greenarch, Rory (Brooke) Wright., as well as great-grandchildren; Eddie Bair, Sam Bair, William Fuson, Lucas Fuson, Ben Wright, Ethan Wright, Ashton Wright, Jackson Wright, Chloe, Lilli and Willa Greenarch. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, both wives, Son; Gregg Womer who passed away on November 16, 1975, 4 Brothers and 4 Sisters.

Jim graduated from East Conemaugh High School, PA., in 1940. He joined the US Army Air Force and was stationed at Chanute Field in Rantoul, IL. where he trained to be an aviation mechanical engineer. He joined the Aviation Cadet Corps and was sent to Bombardier School at San Antonio, TX. Jim met Mary Belle Lefever at a USO dance in Rantoul. After graduation he instructed for a year before requesting overseas duty. Jim was stationed in Italy in 1944-45 as a member of the 15th Air Force, 459th Bomb Group, 758th Bomb Squadron. He flew 19 missions over Europe during World War II. His first mission was the longest mission the 15th Air Force had ever flown at that time, from Italy to Brux, Czechoslovakia. Jim became Squadron Bombardier and had a Captain's rating. Jim received several medals for his service.

Jim received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1950. He worked at National Radiator Company and lived in Chicago and Newcastle, PA. Upon retirement of his father-in-law, Frank O. Lefever, Jim and Mary Belle returned to Bement to work for the family farm. Jim was an innovator who used his engineering skills to improve his farm and maintain his own equipment. He was featured in Prairie Farmer Magazine as one of the first farmers in Central Illinois to utilize 30 inch rows. Jim served on the Piatt County Soil and Water Conservation board and worked to educate farmers on the benefits of no- till farming. In addition to farming, Jim worked part-time as an engineer and salesman for Cim-tek in Bement. He worked closely with the Ayers family to develop their patented gasoline filter technology. Jim enjoyed traveling to sales conferences all over the world, including Hong Kong and London.

In the later years, Jim and Ruth enjoyed ballroom dancing with a large group of friends. They made it a priority to attend their grand children's sporting and school events. Jim was a quiet man known for his quick wit. He was a member of the Bement Lions Club and a 60 year member of the Albert Parker American Legion Post #620, Bement. He was a proud U of I alumnus and enjoyed serving as a judge at the U of I Engineering Open House for several years. Jim was a faithful man, serving as a deacon at the Milmine Christian Church and later a member of the Bement United Methodist Church. He loved taking road trips and drove well into his 80's. He especially enjoyed visiting his extended family at the annual reunion in Pennsylvania. Although he enjoyed many hobbies, including bowling, his true passion was golf. When he turned eighty, he was very proud that he was able to shoot his age.

The following information on James Womer is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on 1st Lt Womer. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to James Womer's military record please contact us.

Rank Order Date Award

1st Lt



Air Medal (AM)

1st Lt



Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

1st Lt



Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

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