Curtis Gerald Chapman

Military
media-43582.jpeg UPL 43582 Lt. Curtis Chapman

Source: Richard Frohm (S/Sgt. Jack Flynn)

Object Number - UPL 43582 - Lt. Curtis Chapman

Shot down 30 November 1944 in B-17 43-38725. Mission: Lumkendorf Oil Refinery, Merseburg, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany.



John's B-17 was shot down by German Flak during a raid on the Lutzkendorf Oil Refinery near Merseburg, Germany. German Flak hit the midsection, which caused the tail to separate. In the process of that explosion, the tail gunner Sgt. Ralph Corning along with the ball turret gunner Sgt. Charles Agantovich, along with the radio operator/waist gunner Sgt. Anthony DeMarco was killed. Waist gunner Sgt. John Lafferty Jr. was able to escape by parachute. Secondary explosions killed the navigator Lt. Marvin Brawer. Lt. Curtis Chapman, the bombardier, was thrown from the nose and temporarily knocked out, came to in time to pull his chutes ripcord. The pilot Lt. Raymond Buthe and his copilot Lt. Charles Norris were trapped in their seats as the bomber began a nosedive. S/Sgt. Jack Flynn had been knocked out of his top turret position on the first explosion that separated the tail section. He landed on his chute and was able to connect one hook seconds before another explosion literally blew him out the open bomb bay doors.



The three survivors were immediately captured by the German military on landing. All three were taken to the Dulag Luft in Oberursel for interrogation. From there, the three were transported to the Dulag Luft in Westlar. That was the last time the three would see each other. Lt. Chapman went to Stalag Luft I. Sgt. Lafferty was taken to Stalag Luft III. S/Sgt. Jack Flynn went to Stalag Luft IV. S/Sgt. Flynn would be held there until the 6th of February. With Russian forces advancing, the Germans decided to move the eight thousand prisoners to the interior of Germany. This began an eighty-six day forced march later called "The Death March" covering six hundred. During brutal weather conditions, lack of food, shelter, and medicines. His journey ended the 2nd of May, 1945 near Lübeck when British and Canadian forces arrived.



S/Sgt. Flynn, along with Lt. Chapman and Sgt. Lafferty, would return home, marry and raise families. Sadly Lt. Chapman died in July 1963 at age 43. The remains of their six comrades would be recovered and returned to their families

Connections

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Units served with

The insignia of the 447th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 447th Bomb Group 708th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33464764
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 447th Bomb Group 708th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-2060236
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 447th Bomb Group 708th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-814298
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 447th Bomb Group 708th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36237097
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 447th Bomb Group 708th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 31329345
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 447th Bomb Group 708th Bomb Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Raymond, Illinois, USA 14 January 1924

Died

Raymond, Illinois 10 August 1963

Buried/ Commemorated

Raymond, Illinois 12 August 1963 Asbury Cemetery, Section 6

Other

Prisoner of War (POW)

Germany 30 November 1944

Revisions

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Contributoracbernstein1
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Sources

S/Sgt. Jack Flynn (courtesy of Richard Frohm)

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Contributoracbernstein1
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ContributorRichard412
Changes
Sources

Source: Richard Frohm (S/Sgt. Jack Flynn)

Date
ContributorRichard412
Changes
Sources

Source: Richard Frohm (S/Sgt. Jack Flynn)

Date
ContributorRichard412
Changes
Sources

Source: Richard Frohm (S/Sgt. Jack Flynn)

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 11149 / MACR 11149, daughter / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Curtis Gerald Chapman: Gallery (6 items)