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Rupert H Pulliam Jr.

Military

Shot down 8 April 1944 in B-24 #41-29365, Prisoner of War (POW).

POW
http://www.tnmagazine.org/service-before-self/

Service

People

  • Daniel Harris

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Shot down 8 April 1944 in B-24 #41-29365, Prisoner of War (POW). Retired from a 31 year career in the USAF with the rank of Colonel.

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Units served with

  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

  • 787th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-29365

    B-24 Liberator
    Mission 291 350 B-24s are dispatched to aviation industry targets in Brunswick 1944-04-08 - MACR #: 3840 Notes:29365 (466th BG, 787th BS) lost Apr 8, 1944. MACR 3840

Associated Place

  • Attlebridge

    Military site : airfield
    Attlebridge was constructed for RAF use and completed to that standard in 1942. However, with news that it was to be assigned to the American Air Force, the runways were extended and additional hardstandings and outbuildings constructed for the heavy...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Rossville, Tennessee, USA
Enlisted 10 September 1942
Lived in Collierville, TN, USA 1943
Shot Down Hanover, Germany 8 April 1944

We were hitting the airfield in Hanover, and they didn’t like that,” R.H. says. “They hit us with antiaircraft fire.”
R.H. recounts that as the plane was burning and going down, the crew knew they would have to bail out to survive. “We were shot down on April 8, 1944, which was Good Friday.”

“My ’chute burned up, so I helped clear out the other gunners. I didn’t think about hooking onto them,” recalls R.H. “The waist gunner got hung up on the plane and went down with the ship.”

Pilliam at his West Tennessee home.
Pilliam at his West Tennessee home.

“I went on up to the front, walking on the catwalk,” recounts R.H., holding his hands about 8 inches apart to describe the narrow beam at the center of the plane. “My feet slipped out from under me, and I fell a-straddle of it.” With the bomb bay doors open, he barely missed plunging to his death. Fortunately, he regained his balance and lost only his oxygen tank and mask.

“The pilot, co-pilot and radioman were still in the front,” R.H. remembers. “The pilot said, ‘We’ve got to bail out.’ The radioman, Ehmet, said, ‘Hook onto me.’ So I hooked my harness onto his strap, and out the bomb bay we went.” Though they escaped from the burning plane, they landed in enemy territory.

R.H. and Ehmet hit the ground hard with both of them on one parachute. Ehmet was able to escape to cover. R.H. suffered a broken leg and severe burns to his back and head where his parachute and oxygen mask had been.

“We landed in a field with some farmers out there,” R.H. says. “Since they only saw one parachute, they found me first and didn’t look for the radioman. They came over with pitch forks but didn’t do anything.”

“They came out in an open touring car and carried me to a hospital,” R.H. adds, but “they (the hospital) wouldn’t take me, so they carried me to another, and they wouldn’t take me. They carried me to a third, and they took me.”

Prisoner of War (POW) Tychowo, Poland 10 April 1944 – 8 May 1945

Stalag Luft IV

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 May 2020 21:18:13 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
05 July 2016 18:27:25 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://www.tnmagazine.org/service-before-self/

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2016 19:43:15 466thHistorian Changes to awards, events and place associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2016 04:13:05 466thHistorian Changes to service number, highest rank, biography and events
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
16 October 2015 01:05:03 Lib4444 Changes to firstname
Sources

R H Pulliam Jr is my father

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:23:32 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3840 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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