|Birth: ||May 23, 1920|
|Death: ||May 27, 1944, At Sea|
Wilbert was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Forces
755th Bomber Squadron, 458th Bomber Group, Heavy. Service # 18171009. Missing in Action. He entered the Service from Louisiana. Awards: Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart.
"On this day, May 27, 1944, a scratch crew of veteran enlisted men were put together to man B-24 "Briney Marlin". The group was assembling over Cromer and had just completed a left turn and were making a right turn when the pilot of 42-95159, 2Lt Howard Lobo, either did not or could not complete the turn rapidly enough and collided with another B-24 42-95183 of the 755th squadron, Briney Marlin piloted by 2Lt Lester C. Martin. The impact tore the entire tail assembly from #159 and that aircraft was last seen spinning down into the under cast about five miles offshore into the North Sea. All ten men aboard were listed as MIA and later declared dead. Two bodies were recovered after washing ashore - those of the navigator and bombardier.
Aboard aircraft #183 that day, as a fill in top turret gunner/flight engineer, was S/Sgt Chester R. Carlstrum, the tail gunner on Crew 74. When the collision occurred, Martin rang the bail out bell. Carlstrum dropped down and opened the bomb bay and salvoed the bomb load. He then bailed out through the bomb bay. The tail gunner S/Sgt Wilbert Abshire, tail gunner on Crew 75 also bailed out from the tail section. In the few seconds between collision and the two men bailing out, the ship had lost several thousand feet of altitude. Martin was able to regain control and he rescinded his bail out order. The impact had bent about 6-8 feet of the right wing of Briney Marlin down at a 90° angle. They radioed the control tower at Horsham and asked for instructions. Colonel Isbell took off in Ginny, the group's P-47. He looked over the B-24 from theair and ordered Martin to point the aircraft out to sea and bail the crew out.
Martin decided he had enough control and decided to instead, attempt a landing at base. Keeping the airspeed high, they were able to land okay without further incident. As they were over the North Sea when the accident happened, Carlstrum and Abshire were never found, and presumably drowned in the North Sea. They are both listed at Cambridge on the Tablets of the Missing. The rest of Crew 74 did not fly that day. Carlstrum and Abshire were within five missions or so of completing their combat tours."
Jeneus Abshire (1896 - 1977)
Alicia Simon Abshire (1897 - 1985)
Milton Jeneus Abshire (1918 - 1995)*
Wilbert Abshire (1920 - 1944)
Allison Joseph Abshire (1921 - 2015)*
Danes Paul Abshire (1924 - 1996)*
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Maintained by: Martin Douglas Packer
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56287269