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Robert E Hayes


Robert Hayes was studying at Westport High School in Kansas City, Missouri, when he left school to enlist in the Air Corps, having just turned 18. Joining the William Quaintance crew in the 306th Bomb Group / 369th Bomb Squadron as a Ball Turret Gunner, he was sent to England, where they arrived in October 1943. Robert Hayes was credited with an Me110 destroyed on the 11 January 1944 mission to Halberstadt. On sick bay on 22 February 1944, he was not on board B-17 # 42-31695 and was replaced by Robert Might at the Ball Turret position. The Quaintance crew and the substitute gunner were lost when 31695 was shot down over Germany that day, the sole survivor, Engineer Alexander Markowski being made a Prisoner of War. Robert Hayes completed 14 missions and although he wanted to fly on other missions, he was ordered back to the States in the frame of the Sullivan Act, as his brother Claude M. Hayes Jr, a member of the 70th Tank Battalion, had been killed in France on 27 August 1944, a tragic fact Robert only learned from his parents when he got back home.



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  • Alexander Markowski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Assistant Engineer, Left Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
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    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
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  • Joseph Strukel

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
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  • Maxwell Williams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    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,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron


  • 8th Air Force 182

    11 January 1944
    Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...

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...


Event Location Date
Born Missouri, United States 1924

the son of Claude M. and Nellie M. Hayes

Enlisted Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, United States 7 November 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Lived in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States


Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 15:46:05 ED-BB Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations

NARA WWII Enlistment records
US 1940 Census
Data from research made on the crew of 42-31695 by Jerry Zak, nephew of Engineer Joseph Strukel (KIA)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:23:14 AAM AAM ingest

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia