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Robert Henry Spoonamore

Military

Service

People

Units served with

  • 486th Bomb Squadron
  • 340th Bomb Group

    340th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated on 20 August 1942. The 340th Bombardment Group trained with B-25's for duty overseas. They arrived in the Mediterranean theater in March 1943. Assigned first to the Ninth Air Force and later (in August 1943) to the Twelfth. Served in combat...

Aircraft

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Philadelphia, Illinois 3 July 1923
Lived in Springfield, IL 30 June 1942

1926 Wirt Avenue

Worked for St. Johns Hospital

Enlisted Peoria, Illinois 27 January 1943
Combat Mission Montfaucon, France 19 August 1944

Bridges

Combat Mission Tarare, France 28 August 1944

RR Bridge

Combat Mission Casale Monferrato, Italy 3 September 1944

RR Bridge

Combat Mission Sesto, Calende, Italy 4 September 1944

Bridges

Combat Mission Santa Lucia, Italy 9 September 1944

German Troop Concentrations

Combat Mission Piacenza, Italy 12 September 1944

RR Bridge

Combat Mission Bologna, Italy 16 September 1944

Motor Transport depot

Combat Mission Rimini, Italy 17 September 1944

German Troop Concentrations

Combat Mission Magenta, Italy 1 October 1944

Bridges

Died Tyrrhenian Sea 5 November 1944

The flight crews reported to the 340th briefing tent and listened intently as Group Commander Willis F. Chapman announced the target for the day. Twelve B-25s of the 486th and six of the 489th were to bomb a rail bridge south of Padua, Italy. Luftwaffe fighters were scarce in the Po Valley, but flak might be encountered over the target. Not exactly a milk run. When the briefing was over the crews were dropped off at each aircraft and crew members checked their respective equipment. Escape and evasion was distributed and a final personal relief call made for those who felt the urge. Lt Brandle ran up the engines, tested the controls and taxied to the end of the runway to await his turn for take-off. At signal from the tower, each B-25 rolled down the gravel runway straining under the full load to become airborne.

Shortly after take-off each plane gained altitude and began to assemble in boxes of six planes each, Lt Brandle flying the number four position of the last box. Approximately 15 minutes after take-off from the airfield, the last box was at an altitude of 4500’, with an airspeed of 160 to 170 mph and on a compass heading of thirty-four degrees. At 1020 hours the Island of Elba was to the rear of the right wing of the formation. Dead ahead a large cloud bank was so dense it was difficult for the crews to see their own wingtips. Thirty to forty seconds later, the flight, now scattered, cleared the clouds. Schnapps Yo-Yo was missing and was never seen again. It was assumed by other crews that it had developed trouble and had returned to base. There were no indications that it was in trouble or had gone down. On the return form the mission, almost four hours later, the grim fact was evident that it had disappeared without a trace. Searches of the area of the disappearance were made but revealed no tell-tale signs of debris or oil slick usually noticeable in ditching’s and crashes on the water. As the days passed, the searches were called off and hope for the survival of the crew faded. Lt Brandle may have lost power, lost control, or possibly both. There had been some turbulence in the clouds, but other aircraft did not report icing conditions. Scott Rohwer, of the 486th, in his book “Palouse Pilot”, by Nona Hengen, relates some of the possibilities that may have occurred in those last crucial moments.

Buried Florence American Cemetery and Memorial 1946

No Known Grave

Tablets of the Missing
Florence American Cemetery
Florence American Cemetery
Via Cassia S.N.
50023 Tavarnuzze (Firenze)
Italy

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 January 2022 01:22:31 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

https://www.abmc.gov/decedent-search/spoonamore%3Drobert
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/40193024:2238?tid=&pid...
http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/340thMissio...
https://www.486thbombsquadron.com/the-mystery-of-schnapps-yo-yo
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=8939&h=1440076&...

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