Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Seymour Eisenstat

Military

Seymour Eisenstat grew up in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn Technical High School before entering the service in 1943. He followed initial training at a mechanics school in Biloxi, Mississippi then, having had an opportunity to be an Aviation Cadet, he went to a navigational school in Texas.

After his training, he found himself in Savannah, Georgia, where he was assigned to a B-24 crew. Sent overseas, he was assigned as a Navigator in the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England.

He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 on his third combat mission when it crash-landed in Belgium on return from the 14 March 1945 raid to bomb the marshalling yards at Gütersloh, Germany. Just before the B-24 crashed, Seymour had left his position in the front of the plane and met Engineer Kenneth Kingsland near the top turret position and they hugged, happy to see the mission ending positively.

After the wing of the Liberator hit the top of a farm, Seymour was thrown to the floor, Kenneth fell on him and the engineer was crushed by the rupture of the top turret which fell on him. Kingsland died shortly thereafter and Seymour, who says he owes his life to him, was severely wounded. He had a fractured skull, broken ribs, his left leg shattered.

He remained unconscious for 60 days and stayed in various hospitals until he was brought back to the USA. There, he was first cared for at the Halloran General Hospital at Staten Island, New York. After treatment in many medical and rehabilitation facilities in the States and ultimately in Michigan, he was honorably discharged from the service on 1 January 1948.

After that, he went to school in Long Island, NY, graduated in Liberal Arts, worked for a time in the plastics industry, ending his career as a math teacher.

In the 2010 interview at http://www.greenburghpublicaccess.com/veterans-living-history/12032015-762 Seymour Eisenstat tells of his service, the mission and how Engineer Kenneth Kingsland, the sole casualty, saved his life.

Service

People

  • Thomas Alexander

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 491st Bomb Group
    Thomas Alexander’s older brother, Marston Alexander Jr, born in 1917, died in October 1929. Thomas enlisted in the Air Corps and was trained as a pilot. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on...

  • Rheudolph Cain

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Rheudolph Cain was the youngest of Anna S. Cain's three sons (the others : Walter and Hubert). He enlisted at the end of 1943 in the Air Corps after two years at Parkersburgh High School in West Virginia. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and...

  • Lacy Gilliam

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Enlisting in the Air Corps in August 1943, Lacy Gilliam trained as a gunner and was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in Belgium on...

  • Robert Heichel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 491st Bomb Group
    Robert Heichel attended the Windber High School during four years (his description in the Class of 1942 Yearbook : “He hath a stern look, but a merry heart.”) Before his enlistment in the Air Corps in 1942, he helped to build B-24 Liberators at the...

  • Kenneth Kingsland

    Military | Sergeant | Flight Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    After finishing his studies, Kenneth Kingsland was employed as an assembler at the Pratt & Whitney United Aircraft Corporation's engine factory in East Hartford, Connecticut. Married to Dorothy, he decided to volunteer like younger men and enlisted in...

  • Glen LeBleu

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Barely 18, Glen LeBleu enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1943. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in...

  • Philip Trimmer

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Barely 18, Philip Trimmer enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1944. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in...

  • Anthony Turco

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 491st Bomb Group
    Enlisting in the Air Corps in January 1944, Anthony Turco trained as a Radio Operator / gunner. He was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash...

Show more

Units served with

  • 491st Bomb Group

    491st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 491st Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators in bombing missions over northern France and Germany from June 1944 until April 1945. Missions over Germany included bombing the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen. The Group was awarded a DUC...

  • 854th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-51195 Belle Ringer

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 # 42-51195 "Belle Ringer" is listed as having been first in the 493rd Bomb Group at Debach. Transferred to the 491st Bomb Group / 852nd Bomb Squadron, it was hit by Flak on the way to the target, the Gütersloh marshalling yards in Germany on 14...

Missions

  • 886

    14 March 1945
    "1,250 Heavies Strike Tanks, Gun Factories Near Hanover" ...

Associated Place

  • North Pickenham

    Military site : airfield
    Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...

Events

Event Location Date
Born New York, United States 1925
Lived in Brooklyn, New York, United States June 1943
Enlisted New York City, New York, United States 7 June 1943
Severely wounded in the crash of B-24 # 42-51195 near Florée, Belgium 14 March 1945
Died Hartsdale, New York, United States March 2014
Buried Sharon Gardens Cemetery, Valhalla (Westchester), New York, United States

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 11:04:23 ED-BB Changes to media associations
Sources

Linked to media

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 11:03:25 ED-BB Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistments records
Information from other 42-51195 crew members' families
http://www.greenburghpublicaccess.com/veterans-living-history/12032015-762

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:04 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit history

Share