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Dean Milton Sommers

Military

After graduation from Buffalo High School in Kansas, Dean Sommers attended Chanute Junior College. Living in 1940 in Colfax, Wilson County, Kansas, he enlisted in June 1942 in Missouri and trained as an aerial gunner. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England as a Ball Turret Gunner. His first combat mission was to the Nordhafen rubber plant in Hannover, Germany, on 26 July 1943. He flew on many of the large operations into Germany and was shot down on 16 November 1943 on his 18th combat mission in B-17 #42-29996 'Flagship' to Knaben, Norway. He bailed out over Kvas, Norway and was helped by Norwegian patriots to evade capture. He was arrested by German troops on 23 November 1943. Taken to Oslo, then transported to Frankfurt, Germany, he travelled from there in box cars with other captured enlisted airmen, ending up in Stalag XVII-B, near Krems, Austria. On 8 April 1945, he and other POWs were force-marched from Stalag XVII-B, arriving to a wooded area near Braunau, Austria on 25 April. Dean Sommers and the others were liberated by the 13th Armored Division, Third Army on 3 May 1945. Dean returned to the US on 11 June 1945.

Service

People

  • David Besbris

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    David Bresbis was a Navigator in the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron. He was serving in that function on B-17 #42-29965 when it ditched for lack of fuel in the English Channel on return from the 6 September 1943 to Stuttgart, Germany. All ten men...

  • Whitney Bray

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Whitney Bray enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Canada before the United States' entry into the conflict. He trained as a Pilot at No.4 Service Flying Training School in Saskatoon, Canada before being sent to England. After a number of...

  • Arthur Carmell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Arthur Carmell enlisted in the Air Corps and followed Bombardier training as a Bombardier Cadet at the San Angelo Army Air Field, Texas, Class of 1942. After completing his training, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb...

  • Laurence Dennis

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Laurence Dennis graduated from Farmington Community High School in the class of 1938. After his enlistment in the Air Corps in September 1941, he trained as a Radio Operator at Scott Field. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th...

  • Rolland Galloway

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    After his enlistment in August 1942, Rolland Galloway followed gunnery training. Promoted to Staff Sergent, he was sent overseas and assigned as a Tail Gunner in the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was Tail Gunner on B-17 #42-29965...

  • John Geegee

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    John Geegee enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1942 and trained first at Miami Beach, and Fort Myers, Florida. He followed gunnery courses in Goldsboro and Johnson Field, South Carolina, receiving his gunner's wings at Fort Myers, Florida. He was then...

  • Charles Hartnett

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    After 4 years of High School, Charles Hartnett started working as a mail clerk in 1940. He enlisted in July 1942 and trained as an aerial gunner. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-17...

  • Joseph Thornton

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot; Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down on 6 September 1943 as Co=Pilot in B-17 #42-29965. Plane ditched in Channel. Returned to base. Shot down 16 November 1943 as Pilot of B-17 #42-29996 'Flagship'. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Otto Trammer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Otto Trammer enlisted in September 1942 and trained as an aerial gunner. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was Right Waist Gunner on board of B-17 #42-29965, which went down in the Channel for lack...

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Units served with

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

  • 407th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29996 FLAG SHIP

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23 March 1943; Dow Field 10 April 1943; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-R] Alconbury 24 April 1943. Was flown by Captain Donald G. Parker on the 17 July 1943 mission to Hannover, Germany. Hit by Unteroffizier Ernst Breton of JG11, it was...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 77

    26 July 1943
    The German rubber industry at Hannover, Germany and the U-Boat shipyards at Hamburg, Germany are the primary focus of this mission. In addition, a German ship convoy and targets of opportunity at Wilhelmshaven and Wesermunde are bombed. The first...

  • VIII Bomber Command 131

    16 November 1943
    This mission was directed at targets in Norway. It was composed of three elements. The first element was a combined force of 189 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 384BG (21); 303BG (20); 379BG (22); 351BG (20); 91BG (20); 381BG (22); 305BG ...

Associated Place

  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

  • Podington

    Military site : airfield
    Built originally to accommodate two RAF bomber squadrons, the first USAAF unit to occupy the base was the 15th Bomb Squadron in September 1942. Podington was then used as a satellite for nearby Chelveston. Work to lengthen the runways, although this...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Buffalo, Kansas 12 October 1921

the son of William A. and Ella Mae Sommers

Lived in Neosho County, Kansas, United States 1942
Enlisted Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Missouri, United States 15 June 1942
Evaded capture near Konsmo, Norway 16 November 1943 – 23 November 1943

He bailed out over Kvas, Norway from B-17 #42-29996 'Flagship' shot down on the 16 November 1943 mission to Knaben, Norway. He was helped to evade by Norwegian patriots until his arrest by German troops

captured near Konsmo, Norway 23 November 1943

Arrested by German troops

Prisoner of War near Braunau, Austria 23 November 1943 – 3 May 1945

Interned at Stalag XVIIB in Austria. NARA WWII POW records : "returned to Military control 18 July 1945"... Had been iberated by US troops on 3 May 1945.

Buried Fort Lyon National Cemetery, Las Animas, Colorado, United States 2011
Died Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States 8 April 2011

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 December 2016 13:49:43 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 1384
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
US 1930 Census
SSDI - Social Security Death Index

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:12 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1384 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / self, MACR 1384

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