Place where 42-3436 crashed on October 14, 1943 - 13.45 h local time.
Tail part in The Netherlands
Nose part in Germany
Missing - nose
- Donald Paul Breeden/co-pilot
Probably interred with Martin and/or Manley
Source: George Kuhl - Wrong Place! Wrong Time! - page 149
KIA - nose
- William James Martin/navigator
- Harvey Arlie Manley/bombardier
KIA - tail
- Leonard Roy Henlin/left waist gunner
- Robert G Wells /right waist gunner
All others POW
- Hosea Crawford
- Dominic Lepore
- Arthur Linrud
- Benjamin Roberts
- Dennis McDarby
Robert Wells helped Ben Roberts out of his ball turret, but was fatally injured before baling out (Roberts and Crawford in MACR 1034). However Lapore stated that ‘he had no bullet wounds but all his bones were broken, presumably when the ‘ship’ hit the ground’. Lapore also stated that Wells his parachute was open in the tail (MACR 1034).
Robert Wells was first buried in plot CC at the 'Algemene Begraafplaats' on the Tongerseweg in Maastricht on October 19th in grave CC 112.
He now us buried in Wheatlock, Webster County, Kentucky.
A view of plot CC of the General Cemetery in Maastricht with the military graves in 1945.
A view of the memorial stone and plaque at the day of the unveiling on 13-10-2018.
Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #423436. Killed in Action (KIA).
From The Providence Journal-Enterprise newspaper, Thursday November 24 1943:
Mr. and Mrs. Sam C. Wells, near Wheatcroft, were notified Monday that their only son, Sgt. Robert G Wells, 20, previously reporting missing, was killed in action on Oct. 14.
Sgt. Wells, a waist gunner on a flying fortress, was killed in a raid somewhere over Germany. The young man volunteered for service on November 2, 1942. He received his training at Atlantic City, N.J., and received his gunner's wings and the rating of Sergeant at Ft. Myers, Florida, in January, 1943.
Sgt. Wells was a graduate of Wheatcroft High School, where he played on the basketball team, and had attended Murray Teachers College. The last letter his parents received from him was written on Oct. 11, and in it, he said, "Above all, I don't want any of you to worry about me, for I am only doing what thousands of others are trying to do, make this a better world to live in."
Mr. and Mrs. Wells have received from Gov. Keen Johnson a certificated stating that their son has been commissioned posthumously as an aide-de-camp on the staff of the Governor with the rank of Colonel, in recognition of valor and heroism displayed.
Robert Wells helped Ben Roberts out of his ball turret, but was fatally injured before baling out (Roberts and Crawford in MACR 1034). However Dominic Lapore stated that ‘he had no bullet wounds but all his bones were broken, presumably when the ‘ship’ hit the ground’. Lapore also stated that Wells his parachute was open in the tail (MACR 1034).
Now buried in Pythian Ridge Cemetery - Sturgis/Union County - Kentucky
Units served with
The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Denver 15/6/43; Redmond 15/8/43; Assigned 96BG 16/8/43; transferred 364BS/305BG [WF-R] Chelveston 18/9/43;
14 October 1943
This was the 2nd mission flown against the ball bearing industry at Schweinfurt, Germany and was as equally disastrous as that flown on 17-Aug-43. It came to be known as "Black Thursday". While fighter escort was dispatched, bad weather and lack of...
||Clay, Kentucky, USA
||16 January 1923
|Killed in Action (KIA)
||14 October 1943