42-3439

media-15002.jpeg UPL 15002 Original caption : "A bomber crew of the 96th Bomb Group led by Second Lieutenant Charles Geyer, with their B-17 Flying Fortress." Picture taken on 3 October 1943.
Détails : Front row, left to right : Pilot Charles F. Geyer ; Co-Pilot Robert P. Surdez Jr, Bombardier Donald O. Mills, Navigator William J. Doherty. Back row, left to right : Ball Turret Gunner Edward L. Lantron, Radio Operator Melvin H. Litke (*), Tail Gunner James A. Parker, Top Turret Gunner Frank J. Killarney, Left Waist Gunner Alexander J. Guilianelli and Right Waist Gunner Everett J. Missey (*).
(*) Melvin Litke and Everett Missey were not on board Geyer’s 42-3439 on the 10 October mission when that aircraft was shot down. They had been replaced for that mission by, respectively, Aaron M. Becker and Charles R. Randel, who were both killed. Everett Missey was killed on the 16 December mission and Melvin Litke finished his tour with 50 missions to his credit.

Détails on personnel in crew picture

Object Number - UPL 15002 - Original caption : "A bomber crew of the 96th Bomb Group led by Second Lieutenant Charles Geyer, with their B-17 Flying Fortress." Picture taken on 3...

Delivered Denver 21/6/43; Redmond 14/8/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-V] Snetterton 15/8/43; Missing in Action Düren 20/10/43 with

Pilot Charles F. Geyer Jr;

Co-pilot: Robert P. Surdez Jr;

Navigator William J. Doherty;

Bombardier Donald O. Mills;

Radio Operator Aaron M. Becker;

Engineer / Top Turret Gunner Frank J. Killarney;

Right Waist Gunner Charles R. Randel;

Left Waist Gunner Alexander J. Guilianelli;

Ball Turret Gunner Edward L. Lantron;

Tail Gunner James A. Parker.

Aaron Becker, Charles Randel, Alexander Guilianelli, Edward Lantron and James Parker were KIA (Killed in Action).

Pilot Geyer and Co-Pilot Surdez managed to evade for a short while, but were rapidly arrested and made prisoner (POW).

Navigator Doherty and Engineer Killarney were also helped by Dutch underground members, but were arrested on 7 November 1943 and were POWs.

Only Bombardier Donald Mills managed to evade, helped by Dutch, Belgian and French patriots and made it back to England via Gibraltar.

42-3439 was shot down by Oblt Erich Burkert of 9/JG26 in a Bf 109G bomber and crashed on the house of Mr Rijksen, of Soestdijkseweg, in De Bilt, near Utrecht, Holland. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 1018.

For a comprehensive story of the plane and crew, see http://www.aircrewremembered.com/gallery/index.php?/category/5

For Donald Mills' evasion, see http://www.evasioncomete.be/fmillsdo.html

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

The insignia of the 96th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 413th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12155334
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator / Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 413th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 31016678 and O-736630
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 96th Bomb Group 413th Bomb Squadron 563rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 14078651 and O-793406
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 413th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33273658
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 413th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32416220
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Engineer / Top Turret Gunner

Places

Missions

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

Failed to Return (FTR)

De Bilt, Holland, The Netherlands 20 October 1943

Revisions

Date
ContributorED-BB
ChangesChanges to description
Sources

Updated address for Mill's evasion website page

Date
ContributorED-BB
ChangesChanges to description and events
Sources

Updated Geyer crew website address

Date
ContributorED-BB
ChangesChanges to aircraft associations
Sources

Attempt at adding détails to the crew picture caption

Date
ContributorED-BB
ChangesChanges to markings, description, place associations and mission associations
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
MACR 1018

Date
ContributorAAM
ChangesAAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 1018 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

42-3439: Gallery (1 items)