Skip to comments.Missing WWII Airmen to Be Buried at Arlington With Full Military Honors
Posted on 10/22/2011 9:09:02 AM PDT by Doogle
the Pentagon announced Friday that the remains of 10 airmen missing in action from World War II will be buried next week at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
The Department of Defense said in a news release that the crew was on a bombing mission over Berlin in April 1944 when their B-24J Liberator aircraft crashed near East Meitze, Germany. There were no survivors.
The crash site was located in 2003 and human remains were turned over to U.S. officials. Additional remains, as well as metal ID tags and a class ring, were gathered over the next few years by a joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team. Scientists used dental analysis and DNA to identify the remains.
Ten airmen will be buried as a group in a casket representing the entire crew Wednesday. They are: Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert R. Bishop of Joliet, Ill.; 2nd Lt. Thomas Digman, Jr. of Pittsburgh; 2nd Lt. Donald W. Hess of Sioux City, Iowa; 2nd Lt. Arthur W. Luce, of Fort Bragg, Calif.; Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Karaso, of Philadelphia; Staff Sgt. Ralph L. McDonald of East Point, Ga.; Sgt. John P. Bonnassiolle of Oakland, Calif.; Sgt. James T. Blong of Port Washington, Wis.; Sgt. Michael A. Chiodo of Cleveland; and Sgt. John J. Harringer, Jr. of South Bend, Ind.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
God Bless them.
The Bishop crew took off at 0739. Around 1103, after the first fighter attack, the Sabourin crew saw them pull away from the formation, reporting that it “looked like the right elevator was shot up badly. No chutes.” Sgt Guillot, Kamenitsa’s left waist gunner, remembers that when his airplane came to rest after the crash and the dust had settled, he could see a huge fire and black smoke near a farm house or barn a few hundred yards away. He was sure it was a bomber from his own Group, perhaps Ofenstein’s, since their two planes had collided and left the formation at the same time. As it turned out, the plane was actually Bishop’s. German witnesses remember seeing the dogfight between the fighters and the bombers in the sky over the farm, and then the B-24 spiraling down toward the horse pasture below. They confirmed that everyone was killed in the crash. About an hour after the impact, a bomb exploded in the wreckage, destroying much of what remained of the plane and sending debris far and wide through the little town.
They were brave men that knew the odds were against them and took off into the sky any way
...nasty times indeed to be an aircrew then..
The usual suspects.
One out of every five Americans who died during the War, died in the air war over Europe. The U.S. Army Eighth Air Force air crews were a tiny fraction of U.S. service men, but took a very large fraction of the casualties.
I have read that the 8th Air Force in 43-44 had the highest casualty rate of any unit of that size during WW2.
...now I understand what they meant when they said the explosion scattered stuff all over the little town...Bishop's plane (THE BISHOP CREW, 578th Squadron Plane #42-110105)....was center...the other plane mention off to the right
A side note is that the Berlin raids were essentially using the bombers as live bait to destroy the Luftwaffe. The Air Force wanted to destroy the Luftwaffe before D-Day, to insure complete air supremacy over the invasion zones and the channel. The fighter arm of the Luftwaffe had stopped coming up to challenge bomber raids, except for a few high value targets. Unlike the British, the U.S.A.A.F had refused to pursue terror raids against civilian population centers. (The British did owe the Germans some payback.) Berlin was not viewed as an important strategic target by the U.S.A.A.F.
There was a conscious decision to attack Berlin because it was one target that was within range of the P-51D that the Luftwaffe would send up fighters to challenge. Since the P-51 outclassed the ME-109 and FW-190, this gave the U.S. a chance to grind down the Luftwaffe, in preparation for D-Day. Eisenhower himself had explained the policy to the aircrews, personally. U.S. aircrews found raids targeting civilians distasteful and understood that the target was chosen specifically because it offered the greatest probability of fighter opposition.
Yes, they were incredibly brave.
My father was a B-24 piot in the 15th Air Force 1944-1945. He never talked about his missions, only how SNAFU’d the Headquarters pogues were.
THe Kriegsmarine U-Boat service was a death sentence. In the end, the U-boat fleet suffered extremely heavy casualties, losing 793 U-boats and about 28,000 submariners (a 75% casualty rate, the highest of all German forces during the war).
RIP brave warriors, Welcome Home.
Reading more about this is seems everyone knew exactly where this plane went down for the last 60 years.
It is odd to me that only now were any remains recovered or recognition given.
Thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice. May you rest in the arms of God.
...was thinking the same thing early on.....the more I searched the more I found. The news accounts seem sort of vague to me, so I went looking...
My favorite aircraft of all time.