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Robert Louis Adler

Military

Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #42-37902 'Sure Thing', while performing his duties as the aircraft's Navigator. Became a Prisoner of War, surviving the war.

Service

People

  • Adolph Chilek

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #42-37902 'Sure Thing' while manning the ball turret. He would become a POW, but survive the war and return safely back to Texas.

  • Robert Frith

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #4237902 'Sure Thing;, where he was manning the left waist gun. He suffered the same fate as the rest of his fellow crewmen, becoming a Prisoner of War (POW). However, he would safely make it home at the end of the war.

  • Victor Guthrie

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #4237902 'Sure Thing', while serving as a Bombardier. Becoming a Prisoner of War (POW), he would survive the war.

  • Melvin Hames

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #4237902 'Sure Thing', while serving as the role of "Tail Gunner". He would become a Prisoner of War (POW) along with the rest of his crew, spending the rest of the war at Stalag XVII-B.

  • Jack Harrison

    Military | Major | Pilot | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 while piloting B-17 #42-37902 'Sure Thing.' Became a Prisoner of War. ...

  • William Matthews

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #4237902 'Sure Thing' while serving as the Radio Operator. He later became a Prisoner of War (POW), serving time at Stalag XVII-B. He would return home, living in Indianapolis, Indiana for the rest of his life. While...

  • Eugene Pettinelli

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 390th Bomb Group
    19 missions, 6 to Berlin. Shot down 18 April 1944 while copiloting B-17 #42-37902 'Sure Thing', becoming a Prisoner of War (POW). AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Sherman Pickard

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #42-37902 'Sure Thing' on his 17th mission while serving as the Waist Gunner on the right side. Became a Prisoner of War (POW). He survived the war and returned home to Texas. He later joined Veterans of Foreign Wars ...

  • John Vance

    Military | Master Sergeant | Flight Engineer | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #42-37902 'Sure Thing', being the crews Flight Engineer, and thus, stationed at the top turret. He would become a POW along with the rest of his crew, being freed in May of 1945. He would remain in the military for 20...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 568th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-37902 Hell's Bells/Sure Stuff

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 8/10/43; Gr Island 27/10/43; Assigned 568BS/390BG [BI-K] Framlingham 8/11/43 as HELL’S BELLS; Missing in Action Oranieburg (20m) 18/4/44 with Jack Harrison, Co-pilot: Gene Pettinelli, Navigator: Bob Adler, Bombardier: Vic Guthrie,...

  • 42-38040

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/11/43; Kearney 5/12/43; with Murdo Sanderson force landed base 19/12/43; Presque Is 23/12/43; Prestwick, UK 4/1/44; Assigned 568BS/390BG [BI-H] Framlingham 12/1/44 as LITTLE BUTCH; severe battle damaged Giessen 20/11/44, and two...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 244

    2 March 1944
    The primary targets for this mission are: the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany; and the German air depot ar Chartres, France. The mission is composed of two entierly separate forces. 327 B-17s from 1st Air Division joined by 154 B-24s...

  • 8th Air Force 246

    3 March 1944
    A combined force of 748 heavy bombers are despatched to bomb the primary targets of Berlin, Erkner and Oranienburg, Germany, but weather and dense contrails forced most of the formations to turn back or seek Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 1st Combat...

  • 8th Air Force 247

    4 March 1944
    The industrial areas in the suburbs of Berlin, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. All three Air Divisions despatch formations. However, the despatch from 2nd Air Division aborted the mission because of severe weather in the assembly area...

  • 8th Air Force 253

    9 March 1944
    Berlin is once again targeted by this mission as a secondary target. Primary target not listed in source data. All 3 Air Divisions despatch aircraft. There is very little fighter opposition. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 259

    15 March 1944
    The industrial areas of the secondary target of Brunswick, Germany. A combined force of 344 heavy bombers from 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 262

    16 March 1944
    The two primary targets for this mission are: the industrial areas of Augsburg, Germany and Friedrichshafen, Germany. A combined force of 720 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The bomber gunners of the combined despatch...

  • 8th Air Force 273

    22 March 1944
    The German aviation industries at Oraneinburg and Basdorf were the intended primary target for this mission but dense cloud cover prevented the attack on these targets. The secondary target of Berlin, Germany and surrounding Targets of Opportunity (TOs...

  • 8th Air Force 275

    23 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Brunswick, Munster, Osnabruck, and Achmer, Germany as well as the airfield at Handorf, Germany become the targets for a force of 768 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. The bomber gunner claims on German...

  • 8th Air Force 280

    26 March 1944
    9 V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise, France area and 7 V-Weapon sites in the Cherbourg, France area are the targets of this mission. A combined force of 573 heavy bombers from all three Air Divisions are despatched. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 282

    27 March 1944
    This mission might be likened to a "shotgun blast" as a combined force 714 heavy bombers are despatched form all three Air Divisions to attack 11 different German airfields and air depots in France. Mission summary follows: ...

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Associated Place

  • Framlingham

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force from 1942 to 43, Framlingham was home first to the 95th Bomb Group, before that unit moved to RAF Alconbury. From 1943 to 1945, it was operated by the 390th Bomb Group. The airfield was handed back to the RAF in 1945, and...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois, USA 28 September 1918
Enlisted Chicago, Illinois, USA 11 April 1941

Enlisted as an Aviation Cadet with the serial number 36019397

Based 1943

Assigned to 568BS, 390BG, 8AF.

Shot down Barnewitz, Germany 18 April 1944

Shot down over a mission to Oranienburg, Germany, while on B-17 42-37902, while serving as Navigator. Would later become a POW.

Prisoner of War Stalag III, Sagan, Poland 18 April 1944 – April 1945

Served his time as a POW at Stalag III.

Died Creve Coeur, Missouri, USA 2 July 2012
Buried 9 July 2012

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2021 00:17:04 CastleBren Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

390th Bomb Group records

Date Contributor Update
21 June 2021 15:36:19 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:23:41 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 4013 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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