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Walter Edward Payne

Military

Captain Walter Payne was a Pilot in the 386th Bomb Group. He was piloting B-26 # 42-96184 on his 64th mission on 6 August 1944 when it was hit by Flak and crashed into the sea off Trouville-sur-Mer, France. Gunner Franklin Swanson was killed and the five others, including Captain Payne were made Prisoners of War (POW) - Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 7875.
A Dallas, Texas resident, Walter Payne was the son of Dallas Postmaster John H. Payne. This is an article about his father, published in the Texas press on 27 April 1945 : “All Dallas relatives of servicemen in enemy prison camps receive mail from them by special delivery instead of waiting for the postman to make his regular round. It came about like this: On Sunday two weeks before last Christmas, Postmaster John Howard Payne of Dallas got a letter from his son, Capt. Walter E. Payne, in a German prison camp. It was the first word Mr. and Mrs Payne received that their boy was safe after his plane was shot down over enemy territory. An alert clerk, J. T. Holland, had spotted the letter at the post office and expedited its delivery by putting a special stamp on it. "We were so happy that I decided to pay for sending all prisoner-of-war letters by special delivery during the Christmas holidays," Payne said. He paid for sending 126 letters during the two-week period. Expressions of gratitude poured in. One mother asked to reimburse him. Payne suggested to her and to others that they instead contribute to a fund set up at the post office for expediting letters to other parents. Since then, more than a thousand have been handled in this manner, and the postmaster has a backlog of more than a thousand stamps contributed for future use on such mail.”

Service

People

  • Hubert Altvater

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 386th Bomb Group
    Hubert Altvater was a Co-Pilot in the 386th Bomb Group. He was on B-26 # 42-96184 on his 64th mission on 6 August 1944 when it was hit by Flak and crashed into the sea off Trouville-sur-Mer, France. Gunner Franklin Swanson was killed and the five...

  • Edward Roggenkamp

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 386th Bomb Group
    Edward Roggenkamp was a Bombardier/Navigator in the 386th Bomb Group. He was on board B-26 # 42-96184 on his 64th mission 6 August 1944 when it was hit by Flak and crashed into the sea off Trouville-sur-Mer, France. Gunner Franklin Swanson was killed...

  • William Salyer

    Military | Corporal | Armorer Gunner | 386th Bomb Group
    William Salyer was an Armorer Gunner in the 386th Bomb Group. An experienced gunner who had flown on dozens of missions with the Robert Fry crew, Salyer was on his first mission with the crew of Lt Payne, replacing the regular gunner who had completed...

  • Franklin Swanson

    Military | Sergeant | Armorer Gunner | 386th Bomb Group
    Franklin Swanson was an Armorer Gunner in the 386th Bomb Group. An experienced gunner who had flown on dozens of missions with the Robert Fry crew, Swanson was on his first mission with the crew of Lt Payne, replacing the regular gunner who had...

  • Joseph Weaver

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator/ Mechanical Gunner | 386th Bomb Group
    Joseph Weaver was on a local training flight on board B-26#41-17961 on 27 December 1943. Flown by Lt Robert C. Fry, the plane was involved in a landing accident at Froome airfield - Station 236, near Antrim, Northern Ireland. Weaver and four others...

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Units served with

  • 386th Bomb Group

    386th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 386th Bomb Group flew B-26 Marauders for the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. Whilst with the Eighth, the Group developed the formation release procedure for the B-26 on missions that targeted aerodromes, marshalling yards and V-weapon sites along the...

  • 554th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-96184

    B-26 Marauder
    42-96184 was on its second mission of the day on 6 August 1944. The target were fuel dumps near the Forêt d'Andainne, East of Domfront, Calvados, France. Hit by 88mm Flak shell above Le Havre, causing fire in the right engine. Three parachutes were...

Associated Place

  • Great Dunmow

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield, two miles north-west of Great Dunmow, was built in 1942-1943 by the US Army's 818th Engineer Battalion (Aviation), alongside British contractors. B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group moved in in September 1943, and in October the Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Texas, United States 1917

the son of John Howard and Lucille (Woodward) Payne

Lived in Dallas, Texas, United States 1941
Enlisted Dallas, Texas, United States 2 June 1941

in the Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet

Prisoner of War (POW) Barth, Germany 6 August 1944 – May 1945

Captured in France after landing in parachute, he was sent to Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany. NARA WWII POW records : “Returned to Allied Military control 21/6/1945.”

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 June 2016 15:03:19 ED-BB Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

MACR 7875
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records

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