Wayne E. Bunnell (1945/05/05)
Wayne Bunnell was a former resident of the Pajaro Valley who left the county before World War II. He was born in Washington State in 1908; however, information regarding his family and formative years is not available. He had completed elementary and high school prior to entering the work force about 1926. Bunnell arrived in the Pajaro Valley in 1928, found employment with the Brisco Bros. Trucking Service and married Leta. The couple remained in the county until 1940 when they separated, Leta remained in Watsonville, while Wayne moved to Thurston County in Washington State. There he found work in the lumber products industry in a semi-skilled position.
Wayne Bunnell was inducted into the Army Air Force on March 29 1942, and sent to an unspecified training facility. After completing basic and advanced training, Private Bunnell was assigned to the 199th Anti Aircraft Artillery. The 199th AAA had arrived at Guadalcanal as it was being secured and in November 1943, proceeded to the island of Bougainville. While there, Bunnell manned 50-caliber machine guns to help ward off enemy aircraft.
In October 1944, Wayne's unit moved to New Guinea to prepare for the invasion of the Philippine Islands. Following the invasion at Leyte on October 20, they fought their way to Manila. On May 5, 1945, Private First Class Wayne E. Bunnell died while fighting at an unspecified location in the Philippine Islands. His body was recovered and buried in the Manila American Cemetery in Manila.
NARA2; WRP June 02, 1945; 199 AAA Unit History, http://www. rootsweb.com/~inmarsha/3/warrenkoontz.html, [16 September 2008])