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Melvin A Durst

Military

Prisoner of War (POW). 23 missions. Shot down 16 Feb 1945 in AC #43-39081. After bypassing the primary target Langendreer because of smog, the crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target at Munster railhead. This plane was in the lead and was shot down with 3 crew members killed and six Prisoner of War (POW)s.

DFC; AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster; POW

Service

People

  • Kenneth Bennett

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) at Kleve in B-17 43-39081. Crashed on 16 Feb 45. After bypassing the primary target Langendreer(Synthetic Oil Refinery), crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target the Munster rail-head. This plane was in the lead (of...

  • Walter Campbell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near Kleve on 16 Feb 45 in B-17 #43-39081. After bypassing the primary target Langendreer, Germany, crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target the Munster railhead. This plane was in the lead and was shot down...

  • Edward Giering

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    TSgt. during war. Was on 24th mission w/Wertz crew when shot down over Munster, Germany. Became POW. Freed by Patton's 3rd Army. ...

  • Kenneth Jensen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near (SE) Kleve on 16 Feb 45 in B-17 #43-39081 After bypassing the primary target Langendreer(synthetic oil refinery), because of smog, crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target the Munster railhead. This plane...

  • Earl Minnis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near Kleve on 16 Feb 45 in B-17 #43-39081. After bypassing the primary target Langendreer(synthetic oil refinery) because of smog, crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target the Munster railhead. This plane was...

  • John Price

    Military | Private First Class | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) near Kleve in B-17 43-39081 which crashed near Kleve on 16 Feb 45. After two passes over primary target Langendreer were unsuccessful (target was covered with smog), crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target the...

  • Ralph Warne

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) near Munster, Germany in B-17 #43-39081 which crashed near Kleve on 16 Feb 45. After bypassing the primary target Langendreer (due to smog), crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target the Munster railhead. This plane...

  • Robert Wertz

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Flew 24 missions before being shot down over Germany on 2/16/45. ...

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Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 427th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 43-39081 No Name

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 25/11/44; Grenier 15/12/44; Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-G] Molesworth 28/1/45; Missing in Action Minster Stein 16/2/45 with Pilot: Bob Wertz, Melvin Durst, Earl Minnis, Ed Giering, Ken Jensen, Walt Campbell (6 POW); John Price, Ralph...

Missions

  • 833

    16 February 1945

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Arbuckle, California 23 December 1923
Prisoner of War (POW) 16 February 1945
Died 31 December 2008

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2016 14:58:27 Lucy May Changes to events
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Source:
http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html
MACR 12439 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Date Contributor Update
11 September 2016 11:40:06 John Wertz Changes to person associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
11 September 2016 11:38:51 John Wertz Changes to biography and person associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 23:18:25 John Wertz Changes to nickname
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 23:17:07 John Wertz Changes to biography, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 20:58:32 John Wertz Changes to media associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 20:46:56 John Wertz Changes to events and person associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
01 September 2016 01:42:33 John Wertz Changes to biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/MACR/12439.pdf
http://www.303rdbg.com/427wertz.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self, MACR 12439, , Edward Giering letter Jan. 2009

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