FL Army Air Crash, Feb 1944

Courier Journal newspaper, Louisville, KY - Friday 3 March 1944

News article and photo; Section 2, Page 1

Sargent Palm, Who Begged Chance As Alien to Enter Army, Dies A Hero

They wouldn't take Ernest Leopold Palm into the Army early in 1942 because he was a German alien.

But he wrote letters pleading for a chance to repay the United States for giving haven to him and his family driven from their homeland by the Nazis.

He described himself as "the happiest man in the U. S. Army" when he was finally accepted as the first German alien to be inducted in the Fifth Army Corps.

Crashes In Florida

But before he had a chance to meet the Nazis face to face Sgt. Ernest Leopold Palm was killed. A few minutes after midnight Monday (29 February 1944), his place crashed in Florida. Sergeant Palm's body will be returned to his family today or tomorrow.

His father, Henry Palm, and his stepmother, live at 1113 Logan where the family has established a broom and mop factory, "H. Palm & Sons," a small scale replica of the business in Germany the Palms were forced to abandon.

Charles Strull, Realty Building, chairman of the Kentucky Refugee Committee, has kept in touch with the young man since he came to Kentucky and helped him to achieve his ambition to get into the Army.

Outlined Background

"I hope, dear general, that you will reconsider my case and that you will permit me to be inducted into the United States Army," Palm wrote to the commanding general of the Fifth Corps Area, Columbus, Ohio, in July, 1942. In the letter begging that "I should be permitted to do my share toward the defense of the United States," he outlined his background.

Thirty years ago he was born in Germany of Jewish parentage. As a victim of nazism, he left Germany in 1937 and went to Paoli, IN, and worked for his cousin, Sol Strauss, who operates the Paoli Dry Goods Company. His family followed him to this country. They came to Louisville. He had no relatives in Germany but an aunt and her family in a concentration camp in France.

"I Have Been Stateless."

"I have been loyal and faithful to my adoped country and although I am a native of Germany I am no longer a citizen or subject of germany because the German Government has deprived me of any citizenship and I have been stateless," he wrote.

Strull explained that before Palm's induction there apparently was a rule prohibiting the induction of German aliens in the Fifth corps Area. This rule does not obtain now.

Palm wrote jubilant letters to Strull about his course of instruction in the Air Forces. He got medals for marksmanship and recently was a gunner stationed at MacDill Field, Florida.

Proud of Citizenship

In one letter he said: "As anxious as I was, you will understand how proud I am to be a citizen of the United States. I sure appreciate to be a citizen and I am trying to live up to the responsibilities which it brings with it."

Besides his father and stepmother, Sergeant Palm is survived by a brother, Richard Palm, 2103 Sherwood, and two sisters, Mrs. Eugene Michael, 919 Lydia, and Miss Lottie Palm of the home address.

Find A Grave Memorial# 64606883