Skip to main content
Edit entry 

William Freidkas

Military

William Freidkas enlisted in the Air Corps in March 1943. After his training as a Radio Operator, he was sent overseas and served in that function in the 801st Bomb Group/ 36th Bomb Squadron in England. Killed in the loss of B-24D '"Star Spangled Hell", #42-72873. Took off from Harrington at 23:13hrs on 4 July 1944 on a secret Carpetbagger mission of weapons and supplies delivery to the French Underground in the Loir-et-Cher area, France. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 6990. After successful drop, shot down by ME110 over Orléans, France. A/c caught fire and crashed at 00:10hrs, 5 July, near Champgirault at Trancrainville (Eure and Loire). Co-Pilot Edward Tappan was the only survivor. William Freidkas and 6 other members of the 8-man crew were killed in the mid-air explosion and they are commemorated on a plaque on a wall at the entrance to the Trancrainville cemetery.

Service

People

  • John Broten

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
    John Broten attended the Culver Military Academy, Chicago, Illinois before entering Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey in September 1939 where he studied for one year. He entered the Service in February 1942 and trained as a pilot in the U.S...

  • Jessie Ellis

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 801st Bomb Group
    Jessie Ellis enlisted in the Air Corps in February 1943 and followed training in Aerial Gunnery before being sent overseas. He served as a Left Waist Gunner in the 801st Bomb Group/ 36th Bomb Squadron in England. Killed in the loss of B-24D '"Star...

  • Alfred Emert

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 801st Bomb Group
    Alfred Emert enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1942. Sent overseas in 1944, he served as a Bombardier in the 801st Bomb Group/ 36th Bomb Squadron in England. Killed in the loss of B-24D '"Star Spangled Hell", #42-72873. Took off from Harrington at 23...

  • Roy Gehue

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 801st Bomb Group
    Roy Gehue was living in Bear River, Canada, in 1935. He moved later to Sarasota, Florida. He enlisted in the Air Corps in January 1941 and was a Navigator in the 801st Bomb Group/ 36th Bomb Squadron in England. Killed in the loss of B-24D '"Star...

  • Michael Pranzetelli

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 801st Bomb Group
    Michael Pranzetelli enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1943 and followed training in Aerial Gunnery before being sent overseas. He served as a Tail Gunner in the 801st Bomb Group/ 36th Bomb Squadron in England. Killed in the loss of B-24D '"Star...

  • Harry Sparks

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 801st Bomb Group
    Harry Sparks enlisted in March 1943. After training in Aerial Gunnery, he was sent overseas and served as an Engineer/ Top Turret Gunner in the 801st Bomb Group/ 36th Bomb Squadron in England. Killed in the loss of B-24D '"Star Spangled Hell", #42...

  • Edward Tappan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 801st Bomb Group
    Born and raised in North Carolina, Ed Tappan and his family moved to Arizona in 1931. Ed attended the Evans School for Boys in Tucson and competed on the school’s early rodeo teams. He studied later at the University of Arizona, enlisting in September...

Show more

Units served with

  • 801st Bomb Group

    801st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europes to support resistance forces by dropping in agents,...

  • 36th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

Missions

  • 452

    4 July 1944

Associated Place

  • Harrington

    Military site : airfield
    Harrington was built by the 826th and 852nd Engineer Battalions of the US Army in 1943. Completed in 1944, it was the furthest Eighth Air Force combat airfield from the east coast.The Eighth's Special Operations Group was based at the airfield, first...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Bronx, New York 9 July 1924
Lived in Bronx County, New York, United States 1942
Enlisted New York City, New York, United States 11 March 1943
Died near Trancrainville, Eure-et-Loir, France 5 July 1944

Killed In Action (KIA) in the crash of B-24 # 42-72873

Buried Wellwood Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York, United States

Initially buried at the Les Aubrais cemetery in Orléans; reinterred at the temporary US Military Cemetery in Solers near Melun (Seine-et-Marne), France. His remains were repatriated to the United States.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 November 2015 13:02:49 ED-BB Changes to biography, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

MACR 6990
NARA WWII Enlistment records
www.801492.org
Research for Edward Tappan’s page at http://www.evasioncomete.org/ftappaned.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:30 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

801st BG Roster, http://www.801492.org/MainMenu.htm">http://www.801492.org/MainMenu.htm>;  Losses of 8thAF, vol4. / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Share