On April 24, 1917, he left his position with the Plainview State Bank to enter the service of the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps leaving for France where he served for nearly five months when on September 12, 1917, while in active service he was severely wounded being hit by parts of a shell in the hip and back. His chum and comrade, Robert Hall, was killed at the same time before his eyes.Plainview Dead War Hero Given Full Martial Honors
After weeks in the French and American hospitals he returned home on November 3. He was presented with the French Croix de Guerre for courageous service in action.
During his service abroad his ardor to do his part in this great war was strengthened. In him had grown a desire to serve his country, it had become to him a sacred duty and he could not throw off the desire to return to the service.
Filled with so loyal a spirit he again entered the service on December 1st, joining the Naval Aviation Corps and entered the Dunwoody Institute at Minneapolis with a class of 25 where he spent the next few months in training. Early in the spring he was sent to Boston for further training. About six weeks ago he was sent to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Floa., to complete his training. He would have finished his training on Saturday of this week when he anticipated being placed into service at coast guard or sent to France.
It is said of Byrl that on his return from France he did as much for the government in the recruiting service as any man in this section of the state. His talks in the various towns telling of his experience and conditions in France enthused many a young man to see his duty.
The latest report from the Air Station to the effect that Mr. Sylvester and A. Breinblair, Naval Reserve Aviator, were killed near the navy air station Wednesday morning when their planes collided.
The remains were started from Pensacola Thursday noon and are expected to arrive here by Saturday night.
Funeral arrangements are being made for Monday afternoon from the home, weather permitting the services will be held on the lawn. A military service is being arranged for. A squad of the Home Guards from Winona and an escort of Naval men from Dunwoody Institute, Minneapolis, will be present and take part in the services.
MESSAGE TO PARENTS SHOWS APPRECIATION
Minneapolis, Minn. 12:30 PM
Thursday June 20, 1918
E. L. Sylvester
Officers and Members of the Aero Club of Minneapolis extend to you and your family our most sincere sympathy in this hour of your great affliction. Your son was one of the most beloved members of the pilots class at Dunwoody Institute and housed in the Aero Club building. He died for his country and we wish to show in our humble way our appreciation. Will you kindly wire me full details of the accident when received by you, also wire me whether the remains will pass through Minneapolis on the way to Plainview as we should like to pay proper honor to your son.
Wm. F. Brooks, President.
June 28, 1918-
Business Suspends in Plainview While Thousands Gather at Funeral of Byrl
Sylvester on Monday – Military Escort
Popular Local Man Killed in Seaplane Collision at Naval Air Station in
Pensacola, Florida, on June 19th, Is Buried with Full Military Honors in Most
Beautiful and Impressive Way
Honor Memory of First Wabasha County Boy to Win the French Croix de Guerre
Dunwoody Training Station Students, Winona Home Guards and Various
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