|Death: ||Jan. 21, 1944, France|
Co Pilot 2nd/Lt. Lewis W. Rhodes MIA/KIA
Hometown: Lockport, New York
Squadron: 67th BS 44th Bomb Group
Service # O-807052
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
Pilot 1st/Lt. Alfred A. Starring KIA
Target: Cherbourg V weapon site (No Ball)
Missing Air Crew Report Details
Date Lost: 21-Jan-44
Serial Number: 41-23813
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Name: VICTORY SHIP
Location: 25 kilometers south of Dieppe
Cause: FW 190s and Me 109s
Crew of 10 4KIA 1MIA/KIA 4POW 1 Evadee,
Notes: The 2BD was dispatched to attack V weapons launch sites in the Cherbourg area of France ( code No Ball ). The 44th BG lingers and runs low on fuel due to difficulties identifying the target, attacked by German fighters the division loses 5 ships.
The fourth and last airplane lost on the 21st was the one piloted by lst Lt. Alfred A. Starring. The MACR states that “At 1516 hours, aircraft #41-23813 was hit by enemy aircraft. Numbers one and two engines were set on fire, but the pilots managed to keep in formation. But when the enemy made following attacks, this aircraft was seen to go down in flames. Seven parachutes were seen to open.” Tail Gunner Robert C. Schild adds, “I was new to this crew. I flew only two times with them before going overseas with them. Therefore, I was not well acquainted with the crew. “This was our very first combat mission. We came under heavy fighter attacks by both FW 190s and Me 109s. They eventually knocked out three of our engines and we could no longer stay in the air. Our co-pilot, Lewis W. Rhodes, was killed on the very first pass by the enemy aircraft. Our pilot, Alfred A. Starring, was wounded as well, probably also on that first attack. As our co-pilot was already dead, Starring found it impossible to stay in formation especially with two engines out. When later attacks knocked out the third engine, we were on our way down. “At that time, the waist gunners went forward and jumped out through the-bomb bay. But I opened the rear hatch and went out from there just as the plane went into its final spin. We must have been quite close to the ground by then as my parachute had barely opened a few seconds before I hit the ground. “Our navigator, Weldon H. Maneval, must have jumped from the front end at about the same time as I did, with his parachute opening but not quite quickly enough, and he was killed by the impact with the ground. I was taken prisoner and spent 16 months in Stalag Luft VI and IV. Robert A. Mitchell, our right waist gunner, survived POW camp but found that he had tuberculosis when he returned home after the war.”
Based on information from Joel Huard, the crash site is in or near the French village of Bracquetuit, east of Totes, which is 25 kilometers south of Dieppe, 2 kilometers southeast of Auffay, France.
Lawrence Chandler, the engineer, evaded capture for nearly four months and returned to duty at Shipdham on 20 May 1944. He was sent home on 25 May.
B24 41-23779 was flown by a different crew on operation tidal wave the low level raid on Ploesti oil refinery.
Crew of VICTORY SHIP
1st/Lt. Alfred A. Starring Pilot KIA
2nd/Lt. Lewis W. Rhodes Co Pilot MIA/KIA
2nd/Lt. Weldon H. Maneval Navigator KIA
2nd/Lt. William C. Jones Bombardier POW
S/Sgt. Lawrence W. Chandler Sr. Engineer Evadee, returned 20 May 1944
S/Sgt. Edward A. Kaslaska Radio Op. POW
Sgt. Arthur M. Steele Gunner KIA
Sgt. Eugene B. Cieply, Jr Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Robert A. Mitchell Gunner POW
S/Sgt. Robert C. Schild Gunner POW
Note: Entered the service from New York.
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Maintained by: John Dowdy
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56293701
NARA records list this soldiers Home of Record as Niagara County, New York...Killed In Action...Your service and sacrifice must never be forgotten.|
Added: Mar. 4, 2016
Remember our Veterans, Our family Hero's... some who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our daily Freedoms and Liberties, .... Thanks,, Lewis ,,,for your service and your ultimate sacrifice,,, Niet Tevergeefs ,,,you are not forgotten..|
Michael V Drachman
Added: Nov. 26, 2014
Added: Jun. 8, 2014
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