Flew B-17 #42-37516. Dropped leaflets at night over enemy occupied territory. Col Aber's remains were found in May 2002 in the river Stour at Harwick. He was buried on 5/10/02 at Cambridge American Cemetery. The airplane was the Tondelayo. The 406th was a night leaflet squadron. He was hit by anti-aircraft fire from the British positions engaging enemy aircraft in the vicinity.
'Lt Col. Earle Aber, former commander of the 406th Bomb Squadron was shot down on 4th March 1945 as he and his crew were crossing the channel following a night mission in a B-17 named Tondelayo. He and his Co-pilot continued to fly the badly damaged aircraft so that 9 other crew members could parachute to safety. The Aircraft then burst in to flame and dove in to a sand bank in the River Stour. Parts of the aircraft were recovered many years later. Body parts are buried at Madingley and Arlington National Cemetery'
Remembered by Maj Gen Walter R Longanecker Jr, Annapolis, MD
Units served with
The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...
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,...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 25/4/44; Hunter 4/5/44; Dow Fd 25/5/44; Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-T] Chelveston 4/6/44; transferred 858BS Cheddington 26/6/44; on NLS mission over Holland 4/3/45 with Lt Col Earl Aber (Sqd CO), cp Maurice Harper both died when...
Military site : airfield
Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...
||20 June 1919
|Killed In Action
||River Stour, Harwich, UK
||4 March 1945
||Cambridge American Cemetery
||5 October 2001
On March 4, 1945 a B17 piloted by Lt. Col. Earle J. Aber, Jr., crashed into the North Sea. While most of the crew bailed out, he and his co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Maurice J. Harper, both lost their life that day. A search after the crash only produced limited remains belonging to Aber. His family chose to have these recovered remains interred at Cambridge American Cemetery. In the late 1990s/early 2000s, further remains were recovered from the crash site. Some of the remains were positively identified as belonging to Aber, some were positively identified as belonging to Harper, and some could not be positively identified. The remains of Aber were added to his gravesite at Cambridge American Cemetery. The remains of Harper were buried in a private cemetery in the United States at the request of his family, and the comingled remains that could not be identified were interred together at Arlington National Cemetery.