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Byron Louis Wertz Jr.

Military

T/Sgt Byron L. Wertz served with the 785th Bombardment Squadron of the 466th Heavy Bomb Group, 8th Army Air Force, and was stationed at Attlebridge Airfield near Norfolk England. He was Flight Engineer and Turret Gunner on a B-24 Liberator known as "The Falcon" (Production block number: B-24H-25-FO). He flew 22 missions on the The Falcon before it was hit by anti-aircraft fire and Luftwaffe fighters while on a mission to bomb the marshaling yards at Wittlich, Germany in the Rhineland on January 8, 1945. The Falcon limped over The Channel leaking fuel and reached England on empty and crashed in a farmer's field on Black Moor Road in Shipdham. My father walked away with a minor back injury. The Pilot and Co-Pilot were severely injured and had to be sent back to the States where they eventually recovered. After recovering from his injury, Byron flew his last 3 missions as a replacement crew member, it is believed, on the B-24 Liberator (42-95609) known as "Ghost Too."

3 Known Missions of his 25 Missions:
1944-8-26
1944-10-6
1945-1-8

Service

People

  • Gordon Cuneo

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 466th Bomb Group
    Gordon Cuneo was a student at the University of California when he enlisted in February 1943. He was Navigator on the Harry W. Taylor Crew #552. He was on board the battle-damaged B-24H #42-95248 "The Falcon" which was forced to crash land at Shipdham...

  • Vernal Dupas

    Military | 466th Bomb Group

  • William Eastman

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 466th Bomb Group

  • Arden Mills

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Arden Mills had completed 25 missions before he flew as Co-Pilot on B-24 Serial 42-95248 on the 8 January 1945 mission to bomb communications centers in Germany. He was seriously wounded when the Liberator was forced to crash land at Shipdham due to...

  • Harry Siders

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group
    Harry Siders was a Waist Gunner in the 466th Bomb Group/785th Bomb Squadron. He was on board the battle-damaged B-24H #42-95248 "The Falcon" which was forced to crash land at Shipdham on return from the 8 January 1945 mission to bomb communications...

  • Harry Taylor

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Harry Taylor was a Pilot in the 466th Bomb Group/785th Bomb Squadron. A veteran of many missions, he was seriously injured when he was forced to crash land his battle-damaged B-24H #42-95248 "The Falcon" at Shipdham on return from the 8 January 1945...

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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...

  • 785th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

Missions

  • 576

    26 August 1944

  • 667

    6 October 1944

  • 787

    8 January 1945

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...

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Jeannette, PA, USA 12 August 1924

Born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania

Enlisted Greensburg, PA 15601, USA 27 April 1943
Died Greensburg, PA 15601, USA 14 August 1997
Buried Jeannette, PA, USA 17 August 1997

Jeannette Memorial Cemetery
Jeannette
Westmoreland County
Pennsylvania, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2019 13:34:21 ED-BB Changes to middlename
Sources

Completed middle name, from WWII DRAFT Cards

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 15:56:46 brucewertz Changes to biography and aircraft associations
Sources

Information provided by Bruce B. Wertz, son of Byron L. Wertz

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 15:40:38 brucewertz Changes to person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Information provided by Bruce B. Wertz, son of Byron L. Wertz

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 15:24:24 brucewertz Changes to biography and media associations
Sources

Information provided by Bruce B. Wertz, son of Byron L. Wertz

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 15:09:13 brucewertz Changes to events
Sources

Information provided by Bruce B. Wertz, son of Byron L. Wertz

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 18:46:49 brucewertz Changes to biography
Sources

Information provided by Bruce B. Wertz, son of Byron L. Wertz.

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 18:43:58 brucewertz Changes to nickname, biography, events and mission associations
Sources

Information provided by Bruce B. Wertz, son of Byron L. Wertz.

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 14:20:50 brucewertz Changes to suffix and nickname
Sources

Information provided by son of Byron L. Wertz, Bruce B. Wertz

Date Contributor Update
12 April 2015 23:48:04 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
12 April 2015 23:47:11 466thHistorian Changes to middlename, service number, highest rank, role, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:53 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit roster in the book ATTLEBRIDGE ARSENAL by Wassom & Brassfield, page 331

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