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Oran Russell Highley

Military

Oran Highley was Bombardier on board of B-17 ≠42-29744, shot down 15 May 1943 in B-17F-70-BO [GY-O] #42-29744 "Battling Bee". Plane crashed into shallow water between Neuwerk Island and Cuxhaven, Germany. Captured at Altenwalde, sent to Dulag Luft for interrogation then interned at Stalag Luft 3 in Sagan, Poland. Force-marched out of there at the end of January 1945. Ended up at Stalag VIIA, Moosburg, Germany. Liberated there by US troops on 29 April 1945. Discharged 26 January 1946. Prisoner of War (POW)

Service

People

  • Reuben Carr

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Reuben Carr was Waist gunner on board of B-17 ≠42-29744, shot down 15 May 1943 in B-17 #42-29744 the "Battling-Bee" Piloted by 1Lt. Frank Clemons. Aircraft took direct hit from Flak in open bomb bay. All crew members from Radio Compartment aft were KIA...

  • James Clark

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    James Clark was Co-Pilot on board of B-17 ≠42-29744 'Battling Bee', shot down 15 May 1943. Plane crash-landed in shallow water near Cuxhaven, Germany. Clark bailed out of aircraft, was captured on land near Altenwalde. Prisoner of War (POW) Stalag Luft...

  • Frank Clemons

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 15 May 1943 in B-17 42-29744 'Battling Bee'. Plane crashed into North Sea between Neuwerk Island and Cuxhaven, in shallow water. Pilot Lt. Clemons was the last to bail out, low altitude and landed in North Sea. Body was recovered from the...

  • William Condon

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    William Condon was Engineer/Top Turret gunner on board of B-17 ≠42-29744, lost 15 May 1943, crashed in the North Sea near Cuxhaven, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Roy Fries

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Roy Fries was Tail gunner on board of B-17 ≠42-29744, shot down 15 May 1943 in B-17F #42-29744. Plane crashed into North Sea between Neuwerk Island and Cuxhaven, Germany. Killed in Action (KIA). Remains not recovered. Memorialized on the "Tablets of...

  • Donald Kind

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 15 May 1943 in B-17 #42-29744. Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Louis Means

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Louis Means was a Navigator in the 306th BG/ 367th BS. He completed 2 missions (St. Nazaire on 1 May 1943 and Antwerp on 4 May 1943). He was shot down on his third on 15 May 1943 in B-17 #42-29744. Plane crashed into the North Sea near the island of...

  • Emil Miller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Emil Miller was Waist gunner on board of B-17 ≠42-29744, shot down 15 May 1943 in B-17F #42-29744 ''Battling Bee' piloted by 1Lt. Frank B. Clemons. Plane crash-landed in shallow water between Neuwerk Island and Cuxhaven, Germany. Emil had completed a...

  • John Mulherin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    John Mulherin was Radio Operator on board of B-17 ≠42-29744, lost on 15 May 1943, crashed in the North Sea near Cuxhaven, Germany. His body was recovered a few days after the crash. Killed In Action (KIA)

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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 367th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29744 Battling Bee

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/2/43; Salina 2/3/43; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY-O] Thurleigh 20/4/43. Missing in Action Heligoland Airdrome 15 May 1943 with Pilot Frank B. Clemons Jr, Radio Operator: John L. Mulherin, Ball turret gunner: Donald A. Kind, Waist...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 57

    15 May 1943
    The missions of VIII Bomber Command are becoming more sophisticated. The primary stratgic target for today is the U-Boat pens, marshalling yards and Luftwaffe airfield at Emden, Germany. The resistance of Luftwaffe fighters is a primary concern for the...

Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Hooker, Texas County, Oklahoma 29 May 1916
Lived in October 1940

Walsh, Baca County, Colorado (a student at Walsh School District)

Lived in 1942

Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma

Enlisted 6 January 1942
Prisoner of War (POW) 15 May 1943 – 29 April 1945

NARA WWII POW record : "Interned at Stalag Luft 3, Sagan Poland. Returned to Military control 10 August 1945."

Discharged 26 January 1946
Died 27 August 1989

Woodward, Oklahoma

Buried

Oran Highley rests at the Elmwood cemetery in Woodward, Oklahoma

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 December 2020 11:09:16 ED-BB Changes to service number, biography, awards and events
Sources

MACR 15512
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW record
SSDI (Social Security Death Index)
VA Gravesite Locator

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2020 13:48:40 ED-BB Changes to events
Sources

WWII Draft card

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2020 10:59:25 ED-BB Changes to person associations and place associations
Sources

MACR 15512

Date Contributor Update
25 July 2015 00:14:34 kduggin Changes to biography
Sources

macr 15512

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 02:09:17 kduggin Changes to biography
Sources

obit

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 02:05:25 kduggin Changes to mission associations
Sources

306th mission reports

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 02:01:00 kduggin Changes to middlename, nickname, service number, highest rank and awards
Sources

OMPF

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:48 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15512 / MACR 15512, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop & Hey, p. 122, First Over Germany by Russell Strong, pp. 115, NARA POW database / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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