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TSgt Robert L Christopherson
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Birth: unknown
Death: Jun. 26, 1943

USAAF WORLD WAR II
Engineer T/Sgt Robert L. Christopherson KIA
Hometown: Minnesota
Squadron: 65th 43rd Bomb Group
Service #17017152
Awards: Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart
Pilot 1st/Lt. William J. Sarsfield Jr. KIA

Target:Vunakanau Airfield
MACR #14590
Mission Date: 26-Jun-43
Serial Number: #41-2430
Aircraft Model B-17
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name: "Naughty But Nice"
Location: shot down over Vunakanau
Cause: Japanese fighter Crew of 10 9KIA 1POW

Lt. Trimingham remains were recovered in 1982 and identified in 2001 and are now part of a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Group Memorial at Arlington
He is listed among the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery with a star behind his name signifying that his remains have been recovered.

Memorial in family plot

"Naughty But Nice" Crew
1st/Lt. William J. Sarsfield Jr. Pilot
1st/Lt. William J. Sarsfield Jr. Pilot
2nd/Lt. Charles E. Trimingham Co Pilot
2nd/Lt. Charles E. Trimingham Co Pilot
2nd/Lt. Charles E. Trimingham Co Pilot
1st/Lt. Jose L. Holguin Navigator POW
2nd/Lt. Herman H. Knott Bombardier
2nd/Lt. Herman H. Knott Bombardier
2nd/Lt. Herman H. Knott Bombardier
T/Sgt Robert L. Christopherson Engineer
T/Sgt Robert L. Christopherson Engineer
T/Sgt Leonard A. Gionet Radio Op.
S/Sgt. Henry Garcia Gunner
S/Sgt. Henry Garcia Gunner
S/Sgt. Robert E. Griebel Gunner
S/Sgt. Robert E. Griebel Gunner
S/Sgt. Robert E. Griebel Gunner
S/Sgt. Pace P. Payne Gunner
S/Sgt. Pace P. Payne Gunner
S/Sgt. Pace P. Payne Gunner

Mission History
Regular pilot Winfrey had a slight wound and was unable to fly on the mission planned for June 26, 1943 over Rabaul. Instead, Lt. Charles Trimingham flew in his place. Also, trainee Herman Knott was aboard.

Took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby landing at Dobodura on the north coast of New Guinea to refuel and load bombs. Took off again at 1:45am on a night bombing mission against Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul.
Over the target, the B-17 came under intense anti-aircraft fire after releasing their bombs, but was not hit. The bomber loitered in the target area for another 30 minutes, and were about to return to base.
Approaching from lower altitude, a J1N1 Irving piloted by Shigetoshi Kudo, made three firing passes against the bomber using its upward firing cannons. The second pass killed pilot Sarsfield. His third attack set fire to the left wing and only navigator Holguin was able to bail out before the bomber crashed into the Baining Mountains south-east of Rabaul. Also shot down that same night was B-17F "Taxpayer's Pride" 41-24448.

B - 17. Wreckage Discovered in 1982 The Nose Art was still Highly Visible.
Five of crew remains were positively identified: Peattie, Knott, Garcia, Griebel and Payne and buried in their hometown cemeteries during 1985. Both Holguin and Winfrey attended their memorial services. 
 
Note: group Burial in Arlington National Cemtery September 2011
 
Burial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Manila
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
 
Maintained by: John Dowdy
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56778754
TSgt Robert L Christopherson
Added by: JimO
 
TSgt Robert L Christopherson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Paul Hyde Schott
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- JimO
 Added: Sep. 28, 2014
From Blue Earth Minnesota - Thank you Robert for your service and courage - was aboard the B-17 Naughty But Nice over New Guinea
- kateb
 Added: Nov. 27, 2013
Your bravery will never be forgotten. May you rest in eternal peace.
- Jill
 Added: Aug. 19, 2006
 
 
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