|Birth: ||Jul. 16, 1920|
|Death: ||Jun. 6, 1944|
West Sussex, England
Christian Douglas Burger was the son of Christian Darrell "Ted" Burger and his wife Katie Palmer. He was the elderst sibling of Jack, Kathryn Louise and Ray Eugene Burger. Christian was the grandson of Ira Sealy and May Burger. Ira and May had a large family of 12 children. Christian's older brother Jack fought is Pacific Theater during WW II. He was electrocuted in 1948 during a severe snow storm in Oklahoma just before CD's remains were returned to the U.S. Jack was just 25 at the time of his death, married with one child.
Christian was married on September 23, 1940 in Oklahoma and had one fourteen month old daughter at the time of his death. His wife Alma was expecting their second child. She would give birth to a son, giving the child the name Christian had choosen.
When Christian died he was initally buried in England at the Brookwood Cemetery. In 1949 he was brought home and was laid to rest beside his brother Jack in the Thomas Oklahoma Cemetery. In April of 1976 both Christin and Jack were moved to the Pryor City Cemetery in Pryor, Mayes County, Oklahoma. They rest beside their parents, sister Kathryn Louise and brother Ray Eugene.
Christian was a member of the crew of the 42-107592 of the 584th Squadron which collided with 42-96249 587th Squardon over Battle Sussex at 6am on June 6, 1944, D-Day. Bad weather was said to have had caused icing up on the planes which caused the accident.
It was mission # 58 for the Group. The group was on a mission to bomb gun emplacements in Varreville, France on D-Day. Pilots of both the 592 & the 249 were flying on instruments at the time of the accident. Weather at the time of the accident was noted to be: Vis 7mi, wind 8 mi, 7/10 Strata Cumulus. Tommie Potts, who survived the crash after bailing out states he lost control of his aircraft while in the overcast. He had felt no distinct jar, as would be in a collision, but that his aircraft kept veering to the left and at one point was on its back. He instructed the Bombardier to jettison bonbs and then gave the signal to abandon the aircraft. The crew had gone to the bomb bay and Tommy, assuming that the Bombardier had left the doors open, waited for a minute, lowered the nose wheel and bailed out. The crew had worked feverishly to dump the high altitude bombs so that they would fall unexploded as the plane neared its crash landing. The 592 crashed at Whatlingon Level in Battle, Sussex and the 249 crashed at Ashburnham Place, Battle. They crew had saved many lives by their quick actions to jettison their bomb load.
Below was a young teenage, Ian Cheveralls, a messenger for the Civil Defense Air Warden. He was watching the planes flying through the clouds above when the crash occurred. Upon the crash he ran towards the planes and could hear Tommie calling out for his crew. Tommie was the lone surviver, the bodies of the rest of the crew were found in the bomb bay.
Tommie retired following the crash, sent home with a Distinguished Flying Cross. He would marry and begin to raise a family. Tommie passed away in 1971. This crash has been memorilized by a plaque put up in Battle at the Royal Legion hall, the dedication reading "THESE AMERICAN AIRMEN GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR OUR FREEDOM"
The members of crew 42-107592 were:
-Lt Tommie J. Potts
-Lt Christian Burger
-Lt Leroy A Dyer
-Sgt James M Long
-Sgt George W Williams
The crew of the 42-96249 killed was
-Lt Thomas Jenkins
-Sgt William C Hoeb
-Sgt Ralph D Parker
-Sgt Boris R. Selinsky
-Sgt Edward F Bailey
This entire crew died this day.
This very same day there was another separate mid air collision of two B26's over Gillingham, Kent, England. The 42-96050 587th Bomb Squadron crashed into homes on Corporation Road in Gillingham,Kent, England killing the entire crew and four civilians. The 42-96263 587th Bomb Squadron crashed into an orchard at the East Court Farm in Gillingham, Kent killing all the crew.
The crew of the 42-96050 was:
-Witcher Terrell Berger
-Bt Warren D Rodgers
-Sgt Edward H Monaghan
-Sgt George S Knight
-Sgt Alffred M Zussa
-Cpl Forrest W Pafenberg
The 42-96263 Crew was:
-Lt Claude Wallace Kline
-Lt Emil Ostrowski
-Sgt George S. Rogers
-Sgt Raymond F Sablatura
-Sgt Joseph Amato
-Sgt Boris R. Selinsky
-Sgt James F Bechtler
The civilians killed in Gillingham were:
Fanny F Whittingham
Joan Beatrice Ada Taylor Neice of Fanny
Percy Montague Williams
George Thomas William Gandon
For more information please see:
Christian Darrell Burger (1897 - 1982)
Katie Palmer Burger (1899 - 1983)
Sheila Louise Burger (1943 - 2011)*
Christian Douglas Burger (1920 - 1944)
Tuney Burger (1927 - 2009)*
1LT, US ARMY AIR FORCES WORLD WAR II
Graham Memorial Cemetery
Created by: Lori Oschefski
Record added: Apr 03, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50590561