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Sidney Alexander Benson

Military

Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; Flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Baled out, and, upon landing, he surrendered to a German gun crew. They turned him over to Helmuth Lippman, a local Hitler Youth leader. As Lippman marched Benson away, he shot him three times in the back with a small caliber handgun. Then, he turned Benson over to a group of German Air Raid Wardens who proceeded to beat him to death, using iron pipes and their steel helmets. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721
All the bodies were gathered and buried in the local cemetery. In 1946, the Graves Registration unearthed the crews graves, but noted that "one body was different from the rest." They began an investigation, interviewing local witnesses and discovered the truth. Lippman was tried, convicted, and sentenced to hang. (Commuted to 25 years.) The air raid wardens were convicted and served sentences of several years each.

Awards: AM, PH.

Service

People

  • Cyrus Aidala

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Walter Boykowski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; Flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Billy Gomillion

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; Flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • John Hansen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Sylvanus Haskell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA), MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Jerome Levy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 ...

  • Vernon Polzin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: AM, PH.

  • John Sanders

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Malcolm Stich

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

Show more

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. ...

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert...

  • 862nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-94812 LITTLE WARRIOR

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24H, 42-94812, named, LITTLE WARRIOR, was assigned to the 850th Bomb Squadron, the 490th Bomb Group, and the 8th Air Force USAAF. It was transferred to the 862nd Bomb Squadron, the 493rd Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force USAAF in Britain. It...

Missions

  • 447

    29 June 1944

Associated Place

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Boston, Massachusetts 28 March 1922

SECOND LIEUTENANT SIDNEY A. BENSON was the son of Harry O. and Mary B. Benson. Sidney Benson grew up in Marblehead MA, where his parents lived at 34 Marion Road in 1930. He was a graduate of Marblehead High School. He was attending college at Duke University in North Carolina when he entered the United States Army in 1943. Qualifying for duty in the Army Air Force, he was trained as a pilot, and was reported as being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on December 13, 1943 at Seymour IN.

Lived in Marblehead, Essex County, MA 1941

Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts

Enlisted Boston, MA 26 August 1942

Boston, Massachusetts

Commissioned Seymour, IN 13 December 1943

Commissioned 2nd Lt at Seymour, IN.

Based Debach 1944 – 29 June 1944

Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Fallersleben, Wolfsburg, Germany 29 June 1944

The co-pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Sidney A. Benson of Marblehead MA was captured. Lt. Benson was murdered by being beaten to death by German Air Raid Wardens shortly after he surrendered that morning. He died late that night after having been thrown first into a garage across from the hospital then into the TB ward. It was only in his last few minutes of life that he received any type of medical care. His killers were later located, tried, and imprisoned.

Buried Fallersleben, Germany 30 June 1944

Interred
Fallersleben forest cemetery.

Buried Waterside Cemetery Marblehead Essex County MA 1948

Re-Interred
Waterside Cemetery
Marblehead
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 June 2021 08:52:08 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92003590/sidney-a.-benson

Date Contributor Update
03 June 2021 13:32:41 ED-BB Changes to middlename, biography, events and person associations
Sources

WWII Draft Registration card

Date Contributor Update
11 August 2019 21:03:46 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/29099870
https://www.fold3.com/record/83413308-sidney-a-benson
https://www.fold3.com/image/310763298?rec=299386333
https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd...
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92003590/sidney-a_-benson

Date Contributor Update
16 March 2016 01:40:08 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92003590

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 15:53:22 general ira snapsorter Changes to service number, biography and unit associations
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
- MACR 6721;
- http://493bgdebach.co.uk/roster_list.php

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:09 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 6721 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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