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The Robert E. Heichel crew - England 28 April 1945.
Back row, from left to right : Radio Operator Anthony P. Turco; the unidentified Navigator who replaced Seymour Eisenstat, severely wounded in the 14 March 1945 crash of B-24 # 42-51195; Co-Pilot Thomas J. Alexander; Pilot Robert E. Heichel, Gunner Philip E. Trimmer Jr.
Front row : Gunner Glen C. LeBleu; Gunner Rheudolph W. Cain; Gunner Lacy C. Gilliam and an unidentified man who replaced Engineer Kenneth S. Kingsland, who was killed in the crash of 42-51195 on 14 March 1945. (Photo courtesy of the Anthony Turco family)

Connections

Units

  • 491st Bomb Group

    491st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 491st Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators in bombing missions over northern France and Germany from June 1944 until April 1945. Missions over Germany included bombing the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen. The Group was awarded a DUC...

  • 852nd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Thomas Alexander

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Thomas Alexander’s older brother, Marston Alexander Jr, born in 1917, died in October 1929. Thomas enlisted in the Air Corps and was trained as a pilot. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on...

  • Rheudolph Cain

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner
    Rheudolph Cain was the youngest of Anna S. Cain's three sons (the others : Walter and Hubert). He enlisted at the end of 1943 in the Air Corps after two years at Parkersburgh High School in West Virginia. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and...

  • Lacy Gilliam

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner
    Enlisting in the Air Corps in August 1943, Lacy Gilliam trained as a gunner and was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in Belgium on...

  • Robert Heichel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot
    Robert Heichel attended the Windber High School during four years (his description in the Class of 1942 Yearbook : “He hath a stern look, but a merry heart.”) Before his enlistment in the Air Corps in 1942, he helped to build B-24 Liberators at the...

  • Glen LeBleu

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner
    Barely 18, Glen LeBleu enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1943. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in...

  • Philip Trimmer

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner
    Barely 18, Philip Trimmer enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1944. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in...

  • Anthony Turco

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator
    Enlisting in the Air Corps in January 1944, Anthony Turco trained as a Radio Operator / gunner. He was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash...

Aircraft

  • 42-51195 Belle Ringer

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 # 42-51195 "Belle Ringer" is listed as having been first in the 493rd Bomb Group at Debach. Transferred to the 491st Bomb Group / 852nd Bomb Squadron, it was hit by Flak on the way to the target, the Gütersloh marshalling yards in Germany on 14...

Missions

  • 886

    14 March 1945
    "1,250 Heavies Strike Tanks, Gun Factories Near Hanover" ...

Locations

  • North Pickenham

    Military site : airfield
    Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2016 16:17:43 ED-BB Changes to caption and person associations
Sources

Identified known men in the photo

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2016 16:03:53 ED-BB Changes to caption, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Completed crew names

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 14:25:47 ED-BB Changes to caption
Sources

Corrected data in the caption

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 11:08:28 ED-BB Changes to caption and person associations
Sources

Corrected tyop in pilot's last named, added potential name of man in group photo

Date Contributor Update
30 January 2016 15:10:21 ED-BB Created entry with caption, unit associations and person associations
Sources

Added photo

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