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Robert Morris Stillman

Military

Robert Stillman from High School at Pueblo, Colorado in 1929 and attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs for 2 years. Graduating from the US Military Academy on 12 June 1935, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He soon entered Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, texas and graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas in October 1936. He then served with the 50th Reconnaissance Squadron at Hickham Field, Hawaii from 10 January 1937 to August 1940, returning to the US Military Academy each fall during this period as a member of the football coaching staff. Moving to Bolling Field, Washington, DC, he was named officer in charge of the recruit detachment and assumed command of the First Staff Squadron on 6 January 1941. Appointed chief of the Overseas Section, Directorate of War Organization and Movements at AAF Headquarters on 20 May 1942, he became Executive Officer of the 387th Bomb Group at McDill Airfield on 20 January 1943. Leaving for England on 17 March 1943, Robert Stillman became Commander of the 322nd Bomb Group. He flew as Command Pilot of B26B 41-17982 on the 17 May 1943 mission to bomb a power station at Ijmuiden, Holland. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed right after making landfall in sand dunes at Rozenburg, Holland. Col. Stillman recovered consciousness in a hospital a few hours later. He met two of his crew members there : Radio Gunner T/Sgt Clyde Willis and Engineer/Gunner T/Sgt Morgan Freeman. The other three were killed : Co-Pilot 3 Killed in Action (KIA) and 3 st Lt Ellis J. Resweber, hit by Flak in the cockpit; Navigator/Bombardier Prisoner of st Lt William R. Betz and Tail Gunner S/Sgt Edward K. Hagetter. Robert Stillman was made a Prisoner of War (POW). Missing Air Crew Report : MACR 15539.
Robert Stillman stayed in the Air Force after the war and retired as a Major General on 1 August 1965.

Service

People

  • William Betz

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator; Bombardier | 322nd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). May 17, 1943, in B26 41-17982 on mission to a power station in Holland, plane hit by flak and crashed in sand dunes west of Rozenburg, Holland. 3 Killed in Action (KIA) and 3 Prisoner of War (POW). See Pilot Robert Stillman's...

  • Morgan Freeman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer | 322nd Bomb Group
    Morgan Freeman was Engineer/Gunner on B26 41-17982 on the 17 May 1943 mission to a power station in Holland, plane hit by flak and crashed in sand dunes west of Rozenburg, Holland. 3 Killed in Action (KIA) and 3 Prisoner of War (POW). He was one of the...

  • Edward Hagetter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 322nd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). May 17, 1943, in B26 41-17982 on mission to a power station in Holland, plane hit by flak and crashed in sand dunes west of Rozenburg, Holland. 3 Killed in Action (KIA) and 3 Prisoner of War (POW). See Pilot Robert Stillman's...

  • Ellis Resweber

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 322nd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). May 17, 1943, in B26 41-17982 on mission to a power station in Holland, plane hit by flak and crashed in sand dunes west of Rozenburg, Holland. 3 Killed in Action (KIA) and 3 Prisoner of War (POW). See Pilot Robert Stillman's...

  • Clyde Willis

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 322nd Bomb Group
    Clyde Willis was Radio Operator/Gunner on B26 41-17982 on the 17 May 1943 mission to a power station in Holland, plane hit by flak and crashed in sand dunes west of Rozenburg, Holland. 3 Killed in Action (KIA) and 3 Prisoner of War (POW). He was one of...

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Units served with

  • 322nd Bomb Group

    322nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 322nd Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was activated on 19-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida with B-26B Marauder aircraft. In late September 1942 the unit moved to Drane Field, Florida. The Ground echelon sailed for the UK aboard the Queen Elizabeth...

  • 452nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-17982

    B-26 Marauder
    B-26B 41-27982 was shot down by AA fire on 17-May-1943 while on a mission to bomb a power station at Ilmuiden, Holland. The aircraft crashed into the sand dunes at Rozenburg, Holland. 3KIA, 3POW. MACR 15539.

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 58

    17 May 1943
    VIII Bomber Command launches another operation against German U-Boat facilities with three elements. The first element is a formation of 100 B-17s despatched from: 91BG (24); 92BG (10); 303BG (21); 305BG (21) and 306BG (24) to attack the German U-Boat...

Associated Place

  • Andrews Field

    Military site : airfield
    The base was known as Great Saling when construction – by US Army engineers – began in 1942 but was renamed Andrews Field in honour of the memory of Gen. Frank M. Andrews, who was killed when the B-24 he was travelling in crash-landed in Iceland on 3...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Greenville, Ohio, United States 30 November 1911
Captured west of Rozenburg, The Netherlands 17 May 1943

after the crash-landing of his B-26 Serial 41-17982

Prisoner of War (¨POW) 17 May 1943 – May 1945

NARA's WWII POW Records have hims wrongly as made prisoner on 17 April 1943... They have him as "Returned to Military Control (RMC) 11 January 1946" and last interned at Stalag 17A in Moosburg. He had been detained at Stalag Luft 3 before and participated in the Death March from there, starting at the end of January 1945.

Died Texas, United States 22 May 1991
Buried Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas, United States

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2017 15:37:18 ED-BB Changes to middlename, highest rank, biography, events, person associations and place associations
Sources

MACR 15539
Biographical details from http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7269

Date Contributor Update
25 November 2014 21:17:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, role, biography, awards, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Nov-2014. CO data from: http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/322bg.HTM; Mission info from: MACR 15156; POW data from National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:23:55 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey p. 125, MACR 15539,ABMC

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