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George J Koehn

Military

Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at St Zizier in B-24 #4252348

Service

People

  • James Soesbe

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 458th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at St Zizier in B-24 42-52348

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Units served with

  • 458th Bomb Group

    458th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 458th Bomb Group (H) entered combat with the 8th Air Force in February 1944. Based at Horsham St. Faith in England, the combat crews participated in the decisive Campaigns 'Big Week', 'Big B', D-Day and the assault on Germany's oil industry waged...

  • 752nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-28942

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-109812

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 752BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Schonecken in B-24 42-109812, hit by flak, tail section departed A/C, A/C went into spin and crashed St Vith. 3 x POW, 6 x KIA 24-Dec-44 MACR 11121.

  • 42-52348

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-95050 Gas House Mouse

    B-24 Liberator
    42-95050 (458th BG, 752nd BS, "Gas House Mouse"). In forced landing at Manston, Kent Dec 11, 1944 and declared damaged beyond repair. MIA 1944-12-11

Associated Place

  • Horsham St Faith

    Military site : airfield
    Horsham St Faith was an RAF Bomber Command Station opened in June 1940. It was home to Bristol Blenheim medium-bombers, and was for a time occupied by fighters, including those of No. 19 Squadron and No. 264 Squadron. From September 1942 the airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Killed in Action (KIA) Netherlands 24 September 1944

The crew departed from Horsham St. Faith and arrived safely at the assigned destination of St. Dizier, which was not too far from the front lines. After off-loading their cargo of gasoline it was too late to return to Horsham, so the crew stayed the night. On the morning of September 24th, the crew departed from St. Dizier and headed for their home base. They would have been flying low over the approximate route that they had used on the trip the previous day. According to Hudson’'s casualty report, he heard Soesbe say, “"The damn fools are shooting at us!" before the inter-phone was knocked out. The route back to Horsham should have crossed the coast line at the Belgian-Dutch border, but they may have drifted a little to the right of the direct route. Also, there may have been pockets of Germans that did not show up on any flak maps. No one will ever know for sure. Hudson could not contact the flight deck again and flames were apparently going through the fuselage. He bailed out of a waist window, but not before he was badly burned. After he bailed out the ship exploded. All of those empty drop tanks in the bomb bays made the returning planes flying bombs. His parachute apparently was not too badly burned and he landed in an area where he was taken prisoner. His burns were severe enough that he was treated at a German hospital.

Now we know the plane was still over Holland when it blew up and close enough to the coast for the wreckage to have been found by the Dutch Coast Guard so close to the safety of the English Channel.

Died 24 September 1944
Buried 1945

No Known Grave
Tablets of the Missing
Netherlands American Cemetery

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 June 2016 20:24:52 466thHistorian Changes to service number, events, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

http://www.458bg.com/crewbj21koehn.htm

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:59 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 9574 / MACR 9574 & Page 320 in the book SECOND AIR DIVISION by Turner Publishing Company, 1998 edition, D790.A2S45 & Page 278of the book LIBERATORS OVER EUROPE by Mackay, Bailey & Scorza, D790G458 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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