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Frank Robert Spitznagel Jr.

Military

Born November 5, 1919 in Buffalo, NY.
Attended Columbus Flying School, Columbus, Mississippi, class 42-G. Additional flight training Boise, ID; Alamagordo, NM; Topkea, KS.

Assigned B-17E named "Boo" and flew Southern Route to European Theater (first assigned to North Africa, then ordered to England) January 13 – February 7, 1943.

Arrived Chelveston, England (AF#105) and attached to 364th Squadron of 305th Bomb Group. Completed tour of 26 missions. Led the wing during Bomber Command Missions #65 (Huls, Germany); #69 (St. Nazaire, France); #70 (Paris, France). Also led Groups on several missions and was Deputy Group Leader on Mission #84, aka "1st Schweinfurt", August 17, 1943. Returned to the United States on Nov. 14, 1943 (Northern Route).

While stationed at Langley, VA he trained many B-17 crews from 1943 thru 1945.
He left the service in December, 1945 with the rank of Major.

Married Ruth Elizabeth Schaaf on February 3, 1945. Had three children, (Pamela 1946; Frank Robert III 1949; Douglas 1953) 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Deceased December 1, 2008. Final Resting Place: Rosecrans National Cemetery, Pt. Loma, CA

Service

People

  • Karl Brauer

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Crew completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943

  • John Guminey

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Member of B-17 crew; completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943.

  • Harold Hambleton

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Member B-17 crew; completed 25 missions by 10 July 1943

  • Samuel Johnston

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Crew completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943

  • Robert Metcalf

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Crew completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943

  • Jesse Pogue

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Member of B-17 crew that completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943.

  • Timothy Riordan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Member of B-17 crew; completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943

  • Frank Rollow

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    B-17 #42-30004 ditched in Channel on 6 September 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29988, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Willis Rose

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Member B-17 crew; completed 25 missions by 19 August 1943

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Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 364th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29633 SpitzFire

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/1/43; Salina 12/2/43; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-H/J/N/D] Chelveston 4/3/43. Completed missions as "Spitz Fire" under command of Lt. Frank R. Spitznagel Jr. until 8/19/43; transferred 381BG Ridgewell 11/9/43 1m; 526BS/379BG [LF-U]...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 37

    26 February 1943
    After 10 days of weather related delays of the bomber offensive, a mission is organised with the port facilities of Emden, Germany as the primary target. However, Emden is obscured by cloud cover and all formations divert to attack the port facilities...

  • VIII Bomber Command 38

    27 February 1943
    With weather and cloud cover continuing to frustrate bombing efforts against targets in Northern Germany, VIII Bomber Command decides to mount a raid against the harbour facilities at Brest, France. A total of 60 B-17s are destached: 91BG (18); 303BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 42

    12 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rouen/Sotteville, France is the primary target for 72 B-17s. 91BG (18); 303BG (18) ; 305BG (17) and 306BG (19). Of this formation, 63 are effective on the target. There are no aircraft losses or claims on enemy...

  • VIII Bomber Command 43

    13 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Amiens/Longeau, France are the primary target for this mission but the rail line at Romescamps, the German airfield at Abbevile/Drucat and two other targets of opportunity are also bombed. 80 B-17s are despatched: 91BG...

  • VIII Bomber Command 45

    18 March 1943
    The U-Boat pens at Vegesack-Bremen are the primary target of this mission. 76 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (18); 303BG (20); 305BG (18) and 306BG (20). These are joined by 17 B-24's: 44BG (9) and 93BG (15). Of the 103 aircraft despatched 97 are effective...

  • VIII Bomber Command 46

    22 March 1943
    The U-Boat pens and harbour facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. 76 B-17's are despatched: 91BG (21); 303BG (18); 305BG (18); and 306BG (19). These are joined by 26 B-24's: 44BG (12) and 93BG (14). Of this force...

  • VIII Bomber Command 47

    28 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rouen/Sotteville are the primary target. 79 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (22); 303BG (18); 305BG (19); 306BG (20). Of the 79 B-17's despatched 70 are effecrive on the target. One B-17 is MIA and 9 are damaged. The bomber...

  • VIII Bomber Command 48

    31 March 1943
    The shipyards ar Rotterdam, Holland are the primary target. 78 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (20); 305BG (19) and 306BG (19). The weather prevents bombing by 91BG and 306BG reducing the total effective on the target to 33 of the 78 despatched....

  • VIII Bomber Command 49

    4 April 1943
    The Renault armament and motor works at Paris, France are the primary target of this mission. 97 B-17s are despached: 91BG (26); 303BG (23); 305BG (18); and 306BG (30). 85 of the 97 despatched are effective on the target. Fighter resistance is heavy...

  • VIII Bomber Command 51

    16 April 1943
    The German U-Boat threat to Allied ship convoys and the destruction of the harbour facilities supporting that capability are the number 1 priority of the Combined Bomber Offensive. Thus, the U-boat pens at Lorient, France and the harbour facilities at...

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Associated Place

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Buffalo, NY, USA 5 November 1919
Enlisted Buffalo, New York 23 September 1941

"The draft board was breathing down my pretty little neck..."

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2020 22:59:59 Despitz Changes to biography
Sources

Douglas Spitznagel 9-4-2020

Date Contributor Update
26 June 2018 19:00:18 Despitz Changes to biography
Sources

DS 6/26/2018

Date Contributor Update
26 June 2018 18:56:39 Despitz Changes to biography
Sources

DS 6-/6/2018

Date Contributor Update
30 August 2016 01:55:00 Despitz Changes to role, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Douglas Spitznagel

Date Contributor Update
30 August 2016 01:36:58 Despitz Changes to biography
Sources

Douglas Spitznagel

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2016 23:10:20 Despitz Changes to biography
Sources

Edited by Douglas Spitznagel.

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2016 22:58:36 Despitz Changes to biography and awards
Sources

Edited by Douglas Spitznagel (2nd son, b. 1953)

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2016 22:51:28 Despitz Changes to biography and events
Sources

Edited by Douglas Spitznagel (2nd son, b. 1953)

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2016 22:34:54 Despitz Changes to biography
Sources

Edited by Douglas Spitznagel (2nd son, b. 1953) on 8/28/2016

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2016 22:19:29 Despitz Changes to surname, middlename, suffix and nickname
Sources

Surname spelling corrected; nicknames added by Douglas Spitznagel (2nd son, b.1953)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:10 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / son, Bob

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