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John Robinson Roller


Flew on C. Dale Briscoe crew. Reported to group on 15 Jan 9143. Completed 7 missions. He was severely wounded on 01 May 1943 St. Nazaire mission. He received a medical discharge in August 1944.


DSC Citation
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Staff Sergeant John R. Roller United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 369th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in action on 1 May 1943. The B-17 in which Staff Sergeant Roller was serving as Tail Gunner was attacked by a force of enemy fighter airplanes and during the encounters he was severely wounded. In spite of his wounds this soldier remained at his post of duty, continued to fire his guns, with the result that one enemy airplane was definitely destroyed. Enemy fire had started a fire in the tail section of the plane and Staff Sergeant Roller's clothing was ablaze. He was removed to the radio room where first aid was administered. Immediately thereafter several attacks were encountered by enemy fighter airplanes. With complete disregard for his own personal safety and the pain form his wounds, and thinking only of the safety of his airplane and crew, Staff Sergeant Roller gallantly manned the radio gun and beat off several attacks until he fell unconscious as a result of his wounds. The courage, heroism and devotion to duty displayed by him without regard to his own personal safety contributed materially to the safe return of the aircraft and crew and is an inspiration to the armed forces of the United States.



  • Carroll Briscoe

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to group on 15 Jan 1943. He was the 35th Officer to complete 25 missions. Reported on 05 Feb 1945 with the 2AF weather scouts. Retired as a Colonel from the USAF in 1972. ...

  • Fred Sherman

    Military | Colonel | Pilot & Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was the 32nd officer to complete a 25 mission tour. Joined group in 15 January 1943. He flew 13 missions as C. Dale Briscoe's Co-pilot and then received his own crew in May 1943. He flew the JERAVAD "Un Petite Peu." His last mission was on 28...

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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron


Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Born Lincoln, Washington County, Arkansas, United States of America 16 June 1916


Date Contributor Update
28 December 2021 16:08:40 mearl Changes to middlename

Date Contributor Update
28 December 2021 16:08:00 mearl Changes to biography, awards and events

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:37 AAM AAM ingest

306th BGA Collection, First Over Germany pg. 107-9, 306th BGA Collection, Russell Strong Index Cards, / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /