Louis R Prejean

Military

Louis Prejean was armorer/gunner on B-26 Serial #42-107588 on the 14 January 1945 mission to bomb the bridge at Steinebrück, Saint-Vith, Belgium. In his statement in MACR 11926, Captain Warren Anderson, bombardier on 107588 that day, mentions that, having been immediately captured after landing, about 5-10 miles SW of Saint-Vith, he was taken to a German HQ building where he met Armourer Gunner S/Sgt Louis Prejean of their crew. Sgt Virgil Smith was later brought to the same building. The Germans started walking the three of them East into Germany, away from the front. At about 22:00 that same day, they managed to escape from their guards and walked West toward the Allied lines. On 17 January, the 3 men reached a point about 1½ mile from the US lines and rested in a foxhole, being tired and not having eaten for 2 days.
At about 04:30 on the morning of the 17th, either the Americans or the Germans began shelling the area they were in and Anderson was hit by a shell fragment in the right thigh. Sgts Louis Prejean and Virgil Smith from his crew helped him to a nearby farmhouse (“in the vicinity of Bovigny or Houffalize”) and left him with the Belgian family there. Both sergents planned to try to make it through the lines. Captain Anderson was captured on 19 January, taken to a hospital in Germany and mentions he never heard about the fate of Louis Prejean and Virgil Smith. It is presumed they might have been killed during the fighting in the Houffalize / Saint-Vith area, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge). Louis Prejean has no known burial place.

Connections

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

Units served with

  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force Ninth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-667904
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18084765 and O-726105
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Unit: 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18024532 and O-660867
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 34285298
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator / Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16049634
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Unit: 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron

Missions

  • Date: 14 January 1945

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States 7 February 1922 the son of Andrew C. and Marcelle Guyon Prejean

Enlisted

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States 15 September 1942

Other

KIA (Killed In Action)

14 January 1945 Probably killed after landing in parachute and trying to reach the US lines during the fighting in the Houffalize / Saint-Vith area, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge)
Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States

Revisions

Date29 Mar 2020 18:23:19
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date3 Sep 2015 12:42:28
ContributorED-BB
Sources

MACR 11926
NARA WWII Enlistment records
Personal research on plane and crew