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Robert M Wertz

Military

Flew 24 missions before being shot down over Germany on 2/16/45.
Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near Kleve on 16 February 1945 in B-17 #43-39081. After bypassing the primary target Langendreer (due to smog), crew was ordered to proceed to bomb secondary target - Munster railhead. This plane, after all others (37) suffered battle damage or released bombs early, was in the lead and was shot down with 3 crew KIA.

Wertz was interned at Duisberg, Wetzlar, Oberusel transition camps before settling in at Stalag VIIA POW Camp in Moosberg, Germany.

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...

  • Melvin Durst

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    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...

  • 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...

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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 Belleville, NJ, USA 1 February 1920

Laid back in high school and later on in life. Initially tried to join Navy to fly single engine planes. Decided to go 4 engine bombers instead. Became flight instructor, prior to deployment to ETO.

Prisoner of War (POW) 85368 Moosburg, Germany 16 February 1945

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2016 14:55:32 Lucy May Changes to service number, biography, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Sources:
John Wertz (son). Also, from his Radio Operator TSgt. Ed Giering's book "B17 Bomber Crew Diary".
http://www.303rdbg.com/MACR/12439.pdf
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 11:35:33 John Wertz Changes to highest rank, biography and person associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 23:07:44 John Wertz Changes to biography
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 22:11:03 John Wertz Changes to nickname, service number, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 22:05:27 John Wertz Changes to awards
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2016 22:02:29 John Wertz Changes to media associations
Sources

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

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 / Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum Membership List, July 2000 MACR 12378, Edward Giering letter Jan. 2009

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