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Gerald Hollensteiner Tucker

Military

Sgt Gerald Tucker (whose first name is often misspelled Gerold) was Right Waist Gunner on B-17 #42-3119 when it was shot down on the Hamburg mission of 26 July 1943. The plane ditched in the North Sea and all ten crew were saved and returned to base. Sgt Tucker was again shot down, on the 17 August 1943 mission to Schweinfurt, in B-17 #42-2990 'Dame Satan. ' Prisoner of War (POW).
Growing up in Montana, Gerald attended Lolo Grade School for first through fifth grade, Woodman School for sixth grade, and went back to Lolo for seventh and eighth grades, graduating from Missoula County High School in 1936. The son of a farmer, Gerald helped him break Percheron horses teams to the harness, breaking his first one at age 8 and was able to run every piece of horse-drawn equipment by the time he was 12. After graduation he continued to run the ranch until 1939. He then went to work for Rossignol Logging, hooking logs and later driving logging trucks until 1941 when duty called.
After his service and imprisonment during WWII, he returned to Lolo to work on the ranch. In 1947, he left the ranch to work for Zadra Logging, and skidded logs until 1947-1950. His skills as a caterpillar operator led him into road construction and he worked for Miller and Strong, Bud King Construction and Rossignol Logging, running road jobs in Hungry Horse, McCall, Idaho, Libby, Perma, Trout Creek, Lochsa and Mormon Peak Lookout.
In 1955 he met and married Myrtle Spencer while in the construction business. In 1957 they returned to the ranch in Lolo to raise cattle until selling it in 1979. In 1980 he married Jean Rock and they spent the following years on numerous fishing trips with friends to Holter, Hauser, Canyon Ferry, and Clark Canyon in search of the biggest fish. They were also able to take an extended trip to Australia with friends which they enjoyed.
In 1993, 50 years after he was shot down, in a very memorable and emotional trip, Gerald Tucker was able to return to Belgium with his son Gary to visit the families that cared for his wounds and helped him during his evasion until the time he was arrested.

Service

People

  • Jarvis Allen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3119. Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. ...

  • Victor Ciganek

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Sgt Victor Ciganek was assigned to the 91st Bomb Group 322nd Squadron based at Bassingbourn. Victor served as radio operator on the B-17 # 42-3119 "Destiny's Tot" on the Hamburg mission of 26 July 1943. Upon returning the B-17 ditched into the North...

  • Carlyle Darling

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 42-2990 'Dame Satan. ' Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Albert DiMinno

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #423119. Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #422990 'Dame Satan. ' Evaded.

  • Jack Hargis

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3119. Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. ...

  • Leland Judy

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #422990 'Dame Satan. ' Evaded.

  • Capen Simons

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier, Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3119. Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. Shot down 9 October 1943 in B-17 #42-5178 'The Old Stand. ' Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Carl Smith

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #423119. Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #422990 'Dame Satan. ' Evaded.

  • William Turcotte

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3119. Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. Shot down 9 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29778. Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag Luft III, South Compound. Forced march and box cars to Stalag VIIA, Moosburg. Liberated...

  • Edward Winslow

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 42-2990 'Dame Satan. ' Prisoner of War (POW). ...

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Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 322nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-2990 Dame Satan

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-R] West Palm Beach 14/12/42; Bassingbourn 10/1/43; Missing in Action 11+m Schweinfurt 17/8/43 with Pilot Jack A. Hargis; Ball turret gunner: Starr A. Tucker (2 Killed in Action); Navigator: Carlyle H. Darling; Bombardier: Edward...

  • 42-3119 Destiny's Tot

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/2/43; Presque 28/4/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-M] Bassingbourn 4/6/43; Missing in Action on the aircraft's 5th mission - Hamburg 26/7/43 with some members of Lt Jack A. Hargis' new crew. Hargis' crew was split up to fly their...

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 84

    17 August 1943
    The mission flown on 17-Aug-43, the 1st anniversary of the 1st mission flown by the 8th Air Force, is probably the most written about mission of the war. This is the famous Schweinfurt/Regensburg mission on which 60 B-17s are lost. It has been dubbed ...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

  • Moulsford Manor

    Military site : non-airfield
    Run by the American Red Cross, Moulsford Manor was one of 16 country houses or 'flak homes' which housed airmen for Rest and Recuperation away from the stress of flying missions. Each serviceman was entitled to at least one rest period during their 25...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Missoula, Montana, United States 14 March 1919

the son of James P. and Edna Frances (Hollensteiner) Tucker

Enlisted Missoula, Montana, United States 9 April 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Evaded - Prisoner of War (POW) Braunau-Gneikendorf, Austria 13 November 1943 – 22 September 1944

Seriously wounded, he was helped in his evasion of capture by Belgian citizens until he was denounced and arrested in Brussels on 13 November 1943. Interned in Barracks 18A at Stalag XVIIB he served there as Mail Supervisor. Due to his condition, he was part of a prisoner exchange program and boarded Swedish Hospital ship "Gripsholm" in Göteborg, Sweden, and arrived at Liverpool on 16 September 1944. After former Commonwealth POWs had disembarked there, the ship left for the United States with 219 wounded and seriously ill American servicemen on board. The ship arrived at Pier F in Jersey City, New Hampshire, on 26 September 1944. Gerald Tucker and the others were transferred to the Halleran General Hospital on Staten Island, New York. Tucker then spent a year in Walla Walla, Washington State, at a military rehabilitation center.

Died Missoula, Montana, United States 17 January 2013

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 August 2015 14:38:55 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, role, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 277
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
Obituary in "Missoulian", 20 January 2013.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:11:21 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 277 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Roll of Honor; MACR 277

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