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Hartley A Westbrook

Military

Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 41-24278 'Miss Delores. ' Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned at Stalag Luft 3.
He graduated from primary training with the film star Jimmy Stewart and continued pilot training (he already held a pilot's license ). In August 1942 he joined the Group at Shipdham and flew his first mission on December 6th 1942 - almost the anniversary of Pearl Harbour. On his 14th mission - that of 14 May 1943 -target Krupp submarine works at Kiel, they were hit by FW 190's and shot down, bailing out into the North Sea. Hap lost consciousness and was later rescued by a Swedish fishing crew who fed him and dressed his wounds before turning him over to the Germans. In January 1945 as the Russians advanced the POWs were marched in freezing conditions for 6 days then loaded into rail cars -destination Nurnburg- before a further march of 80 miles to Moosburg where they were liberated by the advancing Americans.
He remained in the service until 1947 and was active in the Reserves while managing the municipal airport at Guthrie Centre, Iowa. Called back to active duty during the Korean War he afterwards returned to the airport for some 24 years. He also helped organise the Iowa National Guard becoming its chief Pilot. He eventually owned 22 planes and continued in aircraft sales for over fifty years. On June 24 2000 Hap was inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame.

Air Medal 2 clusters

Service

Units served with

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 67th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24278 - Miss Delores

    B-24 Liberator
    16 August 1943 - 44th Bomb Group - Roll of Honor and Casualties : Zimmerman, Wesley L. ASN 34312350 Ela, Deforest L. ASN 31157299 Shafer, Raymond C. ASN 35354093 Hughes G.R. Assigned 32468888. Zoller, Harper F. Jr. ASN 36529756 Radio Operator....

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Coon Rapids, Iowa, USA
Prisoner of War (POW) 14 May 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2022 10:46:39 Helen Changes to nickname and biography
Sources

Iowans of the Mighty Eighth

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:12:30 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 16558 / MACR 16558 Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol 1 by Bishop & Hey p. 119, 44th BG Roll of Honor and Casualties by Lundy pp.65-67, NARA POW records / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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