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World War II News
Lieut. Byard Atkins Killed While On Duty in Africa
First Lieut. Byard Eugene Atkins, 24, was killed February 23rd,1945, in an accident while on duty as aerial photographer, according to a War Department message received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Atkins of Sumner.
Lieut. Atkins had been serving with a special mapping crew of 60 men. In his last letter home, he said he had just returned from the Red Sea area.
A graduate of the Sumner High School in 1937, Lieut. Atkins studied geology at the University of Illinois where he was graduated before joining the Air Force at Lowry Field, Colorado in December 1942. After special training with an AAF photography group at New Haven, Connecticut, he was sent to South America where he served for several months. He returned to the United States last March and left again on his African assignment last June. Lieut. Atkins leaves his parents; his grandmother,
Mrs. Fanny Stout of Sumner, and a brother, PFC Robert Atkins, a medical student at the University of Illinois, who is now doing his medical clerkship at the Research Hospital in Chicago.
(He is buried in Sumner Cemetery 4th Addition East section)