Frantic Wife Pushes Hunt For Veteran
Distraught and frantic, Mrs. Martha Derr tried desperately yesterday to rekindle the search for her husband, Pharon
Oliver Derr, 29, paratroop veteran, who has been missing since Sept. 16.
On that night, Derr walked from his home at 6829 Torresdale ave., ostensibly on his way to work at the Budd Manufacturing Co. plant. "See you in the morning," he said.
That was the last his wife saw of him. At the Budd plant it was said Derr never arrived. Mrs. Derr telephoned the young veteran's parents in Point Pleasant, Pa. No, she was told, he was not there.
Two, three days she waited, then she went to the police. Two weeks later the first and only clue to Derr turned up. He had stayed a few days at a Y.M.C.A. in Chicago. But he had gone on, presumably headed west.
Mrs. Derr believed he was headed for Fullerton. Calif., where she has relatives. But Derr. who went through the European war with the famed 82d Airborne Division, did not appear there.
"The war never ended for him," Mrs. Derr said yesterday. "It was too much for one man to bear. When he left his nerves were shattered. If he would only come back. "
SHIFTED TO EUROPE
Derr already was in the Army, stationed in the Pacific on Pearl Harbor Day. He went through the inglorious months when the Japs were running rampant, then came back here in 1943.
He had earned a seven-month stay In this country and on Dec. 30, 1943, he married his sweetheart. Martha Paul. Then
it was off for Europe with the 82d. "He wouldn't tell anyone what he went through," said his wife. "But it must have been plenty."
WORKED AT 2 JOBS
Back in civilian life, Derr and his bride took over a cleaning and dyeing establishment at the Torresdale ave. address. "To make ends meet" Derr got a job at the Budd plant.
"It was too much for him. The last two weeks things got worse and worse," Mrs. Derr said. "If he would only come back," she continued, "we could make things all right again. If he would only
[The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 20 Dec 1946, Fri, Page 25]
jumpmaster note: no
follow-up articles were found but both he and Martha died in Florida, so
presumably, he returned and they stayed together.]
Pharon J. Derr, 85,
Dies In Cedar Haven
J. Derr, 85, Fredericksburg, formerly of Gibraltar, Pa., died Saturday
in Cedar Haven.
Born in Berks County, he was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Benneville Derr.
Before been employed by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.,
He was a member of the Gibraltar Foxhunters Club.
He is survived by a brother, George, New Tripoli, Pa.
[The Daily News, Lebanon, PA, 10 Mar 1969, Mon, Page 2]
Pharon enlisted in the Army at Fort George G. Meade, MD on
9 September 1941.
On 7 November 1945, he was discharged at Indiantown Gap
Military Reservation, PA
Pennsylvania WWII Veterans Application submitted by
Pharon Derr on 1 March 1950. He was credited with 17 months of
domestic duty and 30 months of overseas service. He was awarded
the full $500 bonus.