|Birth: ||Feb. 12, 1919|
|Death: ||Jan. 3, 2004|
2nd Lt USAAF WWII
34th BG, 7th B Sq - Bombardier
(subsequently re-assigned for deployment)
44th BG, 506th B Sq - Bombardier
He Enlisted on 04 Apr 1941 in Baltimore, MD. He was the husband of Doris M. Francis, and the father of Judith A. Minton and Charles L. Wiest, Jr. He was a talented musician.
He successfully bailed out of B-24E #42-7119 crash over Weed, CA on 10 Jun 1943.
The crew members were~
2nd LT Alfred J Demeusy, ASN O-794542, Pilot, from Oakdale NY, Bailed Out
FO George F Churchwell, Jr, ASN T-60915, CoPilot, from Leakesville MS, DNB
1st LT Douglas J Thornburg, ASN O-439091, Instructor Pilot, from Casa Grande AZ, Bailed Out
2nd LT George H Clarke, ASN O-798071, Navigator, from Cooperstown NY, DNB
2nd LT Charles L Wiest, ASN O-736742, Bombardier, from Baltimore MD, Bailed Out
SSGT Willet F Draker, ASN 35329411, Engineer, from Ft Wayne IN, DNB
SSGT William W Powell, Jr, ASN 18117310, Engineer, from Houston TX, DNB
SSGT Alvin Dschaak, ASN 39610191, Radio Operator, from Beulah ND, Bailed Out
SSGT Alonzia E Johnston, Jr, ASN 15323452, Gunner, from Canton OH, DNB
SSGT John F Kennedy, ASN 15333120, Gunner, from Peru IN, DNB
The crew is listed here in the virtual cemetery for B-24E #42-7119.
Lt Thornburg, along with his crew, died three weeks later on 06 Jul 1943 in B-24E #42-7160 while on a search and rescue mission for two airmen that bailed out over the Pacific in B-24E #42-7011 'The Eddie Rickenbacker' Major Thorel 'Skip' Johnson's Crew. While on a combat mission over interior China to Bangkok, Thailand, this crew also bailed out of B-24J #42-72835 'Flamingo II' of the 308th BG, 373rd B Sq, although there were several different crew members on board that day. All bailed out safely, however, Pilot Major Thorel 'Skip' Johnson reported that they 'were twenty-one days walking back to [their] base'.
The crash of B-24E #42-7160 and the site was more recently visited and documented by aviation archaeologist and wreckfinder G Pat Macha.
Sgt Alvin Dschaak was killed later in December 1943 in B-24J #42-73428 ‘Big Nig'; he and 8 others were KIA, there was one survivor, SSgt Robert Renner, who was captured and taken as a POW.
Lt Charles L Wiest and his crew was shot down over Germany on 8 April 1944 in B-24J #42-73506 'Black Jack'; Lt Wiest and 8 other crewman survived and became POWs, however the Pilot, Lt Guy Johnson was killed on the ground.
Lt Charles L Wiest was later assigned to the 44th Bomb Group, 506th bomb squadron based in Shipdham, UK, and his plane was the 2nd B-24J #42-73506 'Black Jack'.
On 8 Apr 1944, on a mission to attack the Airdrome, Langhagen, Germany, his plane began to get heavy accurate flak on final approach to the target. The plane then shuttered from what is believed to be flak and the plane caught fire, prompting all of the crew members to bail out over Brunswick, Germany. Pilot Lt. Guy Johnson is reported to have been killed on the ground, and the other nine crew members were taken as POWs. This was the 2nd squadron lost from the 506th on that day. Wiest then became a POW in Stalag Luft 1, Barthvogelsang, Prussia. The prisoners in this camp were liberated on 01 May 1945 by the Russian Army.
As a WWII POW, he was part of the Stalag Luft I prison camp band led by Mike Spodar that was known to the Kriegies as the 'Round the Benders'. Around the Bend was a Kriegie term which means one that is mentally off key - the inevitable result of chronic 'barbed wire fever'. The band has been described as 'a first class outfit'. They gave the POWs many happy hours on their instruments that were provided by the YMCA. Members' names and hometowns were noted on a drawing by POW artist Don H. Ross. Lt Wiest is not depicted in the drawing.
Doris M Francis Wiest (1920 - 2011)*
Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens
Created by: B24CoPilotNiece
Record added: Dec 21, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 63203186
Added: Sep. 13, 2014
With much respect and admiration, I thank you for your service and sacrifice to our country. You are not forgotten.|
Added: Mar. 22, 2014
~Thinking of You and the Six Good Men Who Were Lost 70 Years Ago Today, and Two Who Were Lost Later~|
Added: Jun. 10, 2013
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