Remembering a remarkable airman

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Duward F. Sumner

Duward F. Sumner was born and spent his early life in Van Zandt County. 

His mother, father, grandparents and great grandfather are buried in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Canton, the county seat. 

The story of Sumner’s life and his outstanding record as a World War II pilot would make a good Hollywood script. Yet today, Duward Sumner’s name would draw a blank among most people living in Van Zandt County. 

Young Sumner lost his father at the age of 2, had trouble with his step-father, left home in his early teens, received a limited education, worked odd jobs to survive and found his special place in life in the U.S. Army. 

The Army provided an outlet unique to him and fitted to his talents.  His service during World War II was his finest hour. If ever a soldier’s life and remarkable war record deserves to be retold, it is Duward F. Sumner’s. 

This is a brief recap of that story.

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