Mark Ebert was born July 2, 1919 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The name Ebert was German, Mark's grandfather whose name was Otto Ebert was sent over as a missionary for the Lutheran Church. Supposedly distantly related to Frederick Ebert, the First President of Germany after World War I. His father Marcus A. Ebert came to Lake Tomahawk in 1915 and in June that year was married to Miss Isabel Johnson. She and her three sisters were at that time operating Camp "Minne-wawa" for girls. Mr. and Mrs. Ebert continued running that place for several years and also established camp "Ad-aw-gam" for boys.
It has a lot of history. Marcus and Isabel had four children: Margaret, Mark, Susan, and Miriam. Mark was the second child and their only boy. Mark was a handsome baby and little boy. From the very first he had a very steady personality and was well liked by everyone. They called Mark 'Bud' (Buddy) because he had the same name as his father. The camp was sold to the American Legion in 1925 and the family moved into a house in the small village of Lake Tomahawk, WI. There Mark attended grammar school in a one room school house right across the road from their home. From there he attended high school and graduated from Rhinelander, WI, a little town about 20 miles south of Lake Tomahawk.
Mark loved navigate with his boot on the lakes in the area, he was also a very good hunter and here you can see a photo of Mark on Nov 23, 1940 with a black bear of 325lbs he shoot that day.
Mark had the intention and was accepted into the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland but a local doctor said he could not start because on his physical exam his Blood Pressure was 140. His father, Marcus Ebert, died on 25 May 1929 at the age of 50.
His folks were very active in Native American history also. Mark spent a year with his family in New York City. His Aunt Julia was very pretty and did some modeling for hair styles. After completing his high school education, Mark worked for the Sutliff Lumber Company in Lake Tomahawk. Mark was delivering coal at that time.
Later Mark worked as a parts clerk prior to his enlistment in the US Army Air Corps.
Mark arrived at Fort Sheridan, IL on 12 March 1942 to begin his enlistment. Mark began his military training. He did also engineer training for ground crew at Chanute Field, IL. Research is ongoing as to where he conducted his gunnery training. Mark Ebert was assigned to the Thieme crew from the very beginning of crew training as flight engineer/gunner. Mark was also on the two crashes with the Thieme crew.
Mark was killed in action on the 4 April 1944 mission while defending his position in Martin top Turret of the B-24 with the Thieme crew. On the April 24, 1944 his mother recieved a telegram with the bad news that Mark was missing in action over Roumania.
He was initially buried in a civilian cemetery at Giurgiu Rumania with his mates and later T/Sgt Mark Ebert was reburied at the American Cemetery of Sinaia on 6 September 1945 at 11 AM. Later, his remains were again re-interred at the Lorraine American Cemetery as "Unknown X-8137".
The Lorraine American Cemetery is situated ¾ mile north of the town of St. Avold (Moselle), France. Finally, "Unknown X-8137" was identified as T/Sgt Mark J Ebert, and at the request of his next of kin (mother), was returned to the United States on Friday, May 5, 1950. Mark found his final resting place on May 6, 1950, with full military honors, at the Forest Home Cemetery in Rhinelander WI. His grave is located at Block 50, Lot 53, Grave A and rests beside his parents graves. His mother, Isabel Ebert, was buried with her husband Marcus and son Mark in August 1975.
Mark left behind his girl Lois Durstock when he was drafted. She was from St. Charles Illinois and he met her while she was vacationing in summer. "I think they might have married but he said he didn't want to leave behind a widow if something happened to him, which it did" said his sister Miriam.
Today, a monument can be found at Lake Tomakawk which honors T/Sgt Mark Ebert and all the men who were involved in combat duty in WWII and Korea.
Mark Ebert Service Time Line based on postmarks of letters sent by Mark to his family
12 March 1942: First day in the army, departed from Madison, Wisconsin to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, an induction center for new enlistees. He stated he was assigned to the Army Air
Force at this base.
5 April 1942- 9 May 1942: Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Basic Training
10 May 1942- 23 Aug 1942: Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois, 15 weeks Airplane Mechanics School.
Click on the photocamera on the right to see photos of Mark in Chanute Field, Rantoul ILL.
24 Aug. 1942- 24 Sept. 1942: Buffalo, New York, Line Maintenance, Curtis Wright Service School
26 Sept 1942- 5 Oct. 1942: Duncan Field, San Antonio, school for Major Overhaul of Airplanes, 8 days 16th Air Depot 16th Repair Squadron.
6 Oct 1942; 30 March 1943: Kirtland Air Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico,Repair Squad 43rd Air Depot Group.
Click on the photocamera on the right to see photos of Mark in Albuquerque, NM.
9 Apr. 1943- 7 June 1943: Laredo Texas Army Air field, aerial gunnery 5th Gunnery Squadron, Rifle Range.
8 June 1943- 21 June 1943: Salt Lake City, Replacement Center Prov. Squadron E, Army Air Base.
2 July 1943- 3 August 1943: Tucson Army Air Base 678th Bomb squadron,444th Bomb group
Assistant engineer on B-24.
Begin September 1943 - November-1943 Brunning Nebraska, 719th Bomber Squadren, 449th Bomber Group.
This must have been the place where the squadron was assembled as a group. Mark frequently mentioned in his letters that none of the other men he went to school with were in his flying groups. After this date, the number of the squadron and group remained the same.
7 November 1943 Topeka Army Base, Topeka Kansas.
Mark was not at this base very long. The group left from Topeka sometime during November without any notice to his family. The family did not know he was in Italy until they received a letter from him in January. Mark did state that they traveled to South America and Africa by plane on their way to Europe. He was in Africa on Christmas Day, 1943.
He also mentioned he had lost his personal items during the trip, including his shoes and writing equipment. Perhaps that is why no personal flying records were found. Mark was on board of the B-24H "Betty Ann" Tail # 11; serial # 41-292175 Dec. 15, 1943 who crashed en route to Europe over Meknes, Morocco, West Africa due to excessive icing on the plane. The entire crew bailed out but the guest pilot Captain Hiero Hays died when his parachute didn't open and he fell to death.
Mark's obituary appeared in the Rhinelander Daily News on May 3, 1950.
RITES SATURDAY FOR SGT. EBERT OF LAKE TOMAHAWK
The body of T/Sgt. Mark J. Ebert, son of Mrs. Isabel J. Ebert of Lake Tomahawk, will arrive Friday morning in Rhinelander.
Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon in the First Congregational Church in Rhinelander, with the Rev. Ward J. Fellows officiating. The body will be in the Carlson Funeral Home from Friday noon to Saturday noon.
Pallbearers will be Scott Heredith, Richard Coffen, Kenneth Walker, Richard Reed, George Hotchkiss and George Merkel, Jr., all of Lake Tomahawk.
As a B-24 flight engineer, Sgt. Ebert died April 4, 1944, during a bombing attack on Bucharest. He was buried in a Roumanian cemetery and later his body was interred in a military cemetery near Metz, France. He was 25 years old at the time of his death.
A memorial fund is being established. Persons in charge are Mrs. Hazel Coffen and Richard Reed, both of Lake Tomahawk, and the Rev. Mr. Fellows.
letter Mark wrote from Italy to Miriam dated 3-19-44.
Remember when Dick Reed and the other boys came up to the apartment and we drove everyone in the block half crazy. The squadron is about ready to do the same. Our tail gunner and I went to town and bought a guitar and mandolin. You can guess the rest.
Can't say as I agree that Italian girls are so easy on the eyes. Course they do look better as the months pass.
I haven't heard from Marge for quite some time. Mom wrote that Marge was joining the Red Cross. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think that she has good sense. Seeing the world's ok but this part of its not worth a damn after being in a war for so long.
I have sent you two fifty dollar money orders and will send some more if you need it. Mom wrote that Marge would probably leave the car with you. I can send you enough money so that you can keep it and have as much fun as rationing will allow.
Mom and Marge's Xmas (Christmas) packages both arrived okay. Took quite some time to get here but time is no longer a very important factor.
So far I have credit for only five missions. In other words, just a good start.
Glad to hear that you are getting along so well with nursing but hope you use your training in the states not over here.
Last letter Mark wrote to Miriam the day before he was KIA.
Are you still in Milwaukee? Marge, Sue and mother move around so much that I can’t keeptrack of them. Did Marge leave my chev.(see here a photo of Mark's Chevrolet Coupe 1933) with you? Mom sent me a letter saying that you might need some money to keep it. I have sent you two hundred dollars in two fifty dollar money orders and one hundred one and will be able to give you some every now and then.
Went to town today and saw the show “DuBarry Was A Lady’. Not bad entertainment. These gals in that picture really had the boys howling.My biggest problem in writing letters is to think of something to say. I have only nine combat missions in and by the papers you can get as much as the war department wants released. No use me getting in trouble with the censors.
My gambling luck is so bad and my insides argue too much with Italian cognac, rhum and vino that social life is almost at a standstill. Our squadron has an enlisted men’s club. I went over once and lost about twenty dollars in a crap game and got half sick on cognac and haven’t been back since.
How long before you finish training and where are you going from there?
In this PDF file are all letters bundled of the anxious families who wrote to Mrs Isabel Ebert end 1944. Included are letters of the Brouillette, Lannon, Thieme and Belcher families. Click on the envelop to read the letters.
January 12, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy. - part 1 en part 2.
January 28, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy. Reading letter.
February 2, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy. Reading letter.
February 10, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his sister Miriam from Italy Reading letter.
February 21, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy. Reading letter.
March 4, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy - part 1 en part 2.
March 9, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy. Reading letter.
March 17, 1944 - Letter of Mark to his mother from Italy. Reading letter.
Citation of Honor; War Departement letter and Purple Heart Certificate.
With special thanks to Miriam Ebert for the beautiful photographs and letters of her Brother Mark. The family is honored by his service to his country and rememeber him as "such a nice guy." Also thanks to Angie Morefield for the help on the start of my research on Mark. Also many thanks to Miriam's friend Mary Wilson for all the help.
To be continued with new information ...