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Ira Jerome Walter

Military

From page 119 of the book “Air Forces Escape & Evasion Society” – Turner Publishing Cy, Paducah, KY - 1992 :
"Inducted into U.S. Army Oct. 22, 1942 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Trained as armorer gunner at A.A.F.T.T.S. Buckley Field, Colorado and Tyndall Field, Florida. Was tail gunner in a B-17E Bomber with the 360th Squadron, 303rd BG, 8th A.F. Molesworth, England, WWII. His plane, Career Girl, was downed on its third mission Dec. 1, 1943. Parachuted to safety near Lille, France and evaded capture until Dec. 7th. Was sent to Stalag 17B near Krems, Austria. April 8, 1945, as P.O.W., was marched across Austria to Braunau, where he was liberated by the 13th Armored Division, US 3rd Army on May 2, 1945. Discharged November 17, 1945. Awarded American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, EAME Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Air Crew Member Badge, Air Medal and later the P.O.W. Medal. Retired from Norris Industries, tool and die supervisor, January 31, 1987. Married Betty K. Marshall Feb. 19, 1946; one daughter, Sandra Kay and three grandchildren. Died Oct. 9, 1990. Interred Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA." (His widow Betty passed away in June 2011).

Service

People

  • Gordon Ballagh

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Prisoner of War (POW). An interview of Gordon Ballagh can be heard at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.19979/sr0001001.stream

  • Millard Boren

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Leonard Dahnke

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Bailed out of his damaged plane south of Lille, France. (Missing Air Crew Report 1325). Evaded capture until 8 Jan 1944. Was arrested by the Gestapo at the Lille train station together with Sgt. Sherman G....

  • Ben Day

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • George Luke

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Frank Mitchell

    Military | Major | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Frank Mitchell was Co-Pilot on B-17 #42-39781, shot down on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen, Germany. Helped by French citizens and members of the Résistance, he was fed, clothed, sheltered and transported in Lille, Tourcoing, Paris, Bordeaux,...

  • Robert Washburn

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Sherman Wright

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Elwood Yeakel

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-39781, Prisoner of War (POW).

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Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-39781 Career Girl

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 29/8/43; Scott 19/9/43; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU- ] Molesworth 18/10/43. Flew on 4 missions. Missing in Action on the raid to Solingen, Germany 1 December 1943 with Pilot George W. Luke Jr, Navigator: Gordon A. Ballagh, Bombardier:...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 145

    1 December 1943
    This mission was directed at the industrial areas of Leverkusen and Solingen, Germany. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (27); 92BG (18); 303BG (17);...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

  • Stalag XVII-B

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Elm Grove, West Virginia, USA 27 January 1922
Lived in Elm Grove, West Virginia, USA June 1942
Enlisted Clarksburg, West Virginia, USA 22 October 1942
Evaded capture 1 December 1943 – 7 December 1943

with the help of French citizens. Arrested a few days later.

Prisoner of War (POW) Austria 7 December 1943 – 2 May 1945

Interned at Stalag XVIIB Braunau-Gneikendorf, near Krems, Austria. NARA WWII POW record : “Returned to Military Control 13 July 1945.”

Died 9 October 1990
Buried Riverside, California, USA

Riverside National Cemetery

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2020 21:46:49 jmoore43 Changes to place associations
Sources

Added a connection to Stalag 17B per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2020 21:44:29 jmoore43 Changes to events
Sources

Updated the location of the "POW" event per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2020 08:58:45 ED-BB Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated Media and chose key image

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2020 08:27:59 ED-BB Changes to biography, awards and events
Sources

MACR 1325
NARA WWII Enlistment records
WWII Draft card
NARA WWII POW records
Veterans Affairs BIRLS death File
“Air Forces Escape & Evasion Society” – Turner Publishing Cy, Paducah, KY - 1992

Date Contributor Update
25 August 2020 09:23:52 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 1325

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:13:27 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Combat Chronology / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1325 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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