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Frank Nicholas Schaeffer

Military

S/Sgt Frank N. Schaeffer was Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-24 "My Peach", Serial 42-100415. On a mission to bomb the La Perthe airfield in France on 8 August 1944, he bailed out of the burning plane and landed near Orbais-L'Abbaye (Marne Department), France. French patriots and underground members helped him evade capture by the Germans until Gen. Patton's 3rd Army liberated the village of Orbais-L'Abbaye on 28 August 1944. Frank was interviewed in Paris on 2 September 1944 and flown to England the next day where he was again interrogated by US Intelligence. Frank was back in the United States on 18 October 1944. After a furlough at home, he found himself with other veterans at Keesler Airfield, near Biloxi, Mississippi. Feeling unneeded, with any specific assignment, Frank and some of his buddies asked the Commanding Officer to be allowed to volunteer for another try at combat duty. This was recognized and Frank, like the others who had been engineers, were sent to Ford's Willow Run factory school for refresher courses. In August 1945, he arrived at Laredo Army Airfield in Texas for other refresher courses, this time in aerial gunnery. The war over, he was transferred the same month to Sheppard Field, Texas, where he was based until his discharge on 29 November 1945. Frank was a member of the Air Forces Escape & Evasion Society (AFEES), as well as of the 8th Air Force Historical Society (8thAFHS) and faithfully attended many reunions of those organizations.

Service

People

  • Walter Bohenko

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner/Armorer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Walter Bohenko was a graduate of McKeesport High School, Class of 1940 and worked as an electrical apprentice before enlisting in the Air Corps in August 1942. Sent overseas after training as an aerial gunner, he was ssigned to the 44th Bomb Group...

  • Nelson Brott

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On his 6th mission, Nelson Brott was Top Turret Gunner on B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. He and seven other crew members...

  • Winfield Gippert

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On his 6th mission, Winfield Gippert was Co-Pilot of B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. He and seven other crew members...

  • Stanley Hulewicz

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    A machinist when he enlisted in the Air Corps in August 1943, Stanley Hulewicz was sent overseas in 1944 and was assigned to the 44th Bomb Group/506th Bomb Squadron in Shipdham, England. On his 4th mission, he was Tail Gunner on B-24 # 42-100415 when...

  • Bernard Komasinski

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Bernard Komasinski was on his 6th mission, piloting B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. He and seven other crew members...

  • Frank LaFazia

    Military | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

  • Charles Lain

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On his 6th mission, Charles Lain was Bombardier of B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. Cut over his left eye by his parachute...

  • John McKee

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Born and raised in Illinois, John McKee moved to Michigan City in 1941 and worked in the refrigeration service industry. He enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1942. After training, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 44th Bomb Group/506th Bomb...

  • Edgar Michaels

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Edgar Michaels enlisted in the Air Corps in September 1942. He trained as an aerial navigator on B-24s at Ellington Field, Texas, in San Marcos, Texas, Harlingen, Texas and Pueblo, Colorado. Sent overseas,...

  • Coley Richardson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Coley Richardson wasn’t a regular member of the Bernard Komasinski crew. As the usual Ball Turret Gunner of the crew, Sgt Frank LaFazia, had been assigned guard duty that day, 8 August 1944, Richardson volunteered to take his position on board B-24 #...

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Units served with

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 506th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-100415 My Peach

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 "My Peach" Serial 42-100415 encountered little to no Flak up to the point of the target area [Primary target for the Squadron: the airfield at La Perthe, NE of the other target for the Group, the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine.] ...

Missions

  • 530

    8 August 1944

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States 12 June 1921
Enlisted Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States 15 September 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Evaded France 8 August 1944 – 2 September 1944

Landed near Orbais-L'Abbaye (Marne), France. Helped by French patriots, liberated by US troops on 28 August 1944, he was back in England on 3 September. Escape & Evasion Report E&E 1369.

Died Montello, Wisconsin, United States 12 September 2015

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2015 09:39:09 ED-BB Changes to middlename and awards
Sources

Added full middle name and Awards

Date Contributor Update
14 September 2015 15:59:09 ED-BB Changes to media associations
Sources

Connected to crew picture

Date Contributor Update
14 September 2015 15:50:58 ED-BB Changes to role, biography, events, person associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

MACR 8080
NARA WWII Enlistment records
Escape & Evasion Report E&E 1369
Personal documents received from the late Frank N. Schaeffer

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:08 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8080 / MACR 8080/self / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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