|Birth: ||Jul. 17, 1921|
North Dakota, USA
|Death: ||Jul. 30, 2013|
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #03322 AIRCRAFT: #42-7497 "OLD DADDY" "N" 20th Mission
AIRCREW: PETERSON . * SQUADRON: 577th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:
P 1/LT Peterson, Lynn G. KIACP 1/LT Lidgard, Willard V. KIAN 1/LT Long, Albert L. POWB 2/LT Cannistraro, Pietro A. POWR/O T/S Bellerive, Richard 0. POWEnG T/S Lawrence, Howard F. POWBG S/S Apgar, David R. POWWG SGT Opsahl, Roland C. POWWG S/S Smith, Alonzo C. Jr POWTG S/S Dinda, Bernard F. KIA
MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Eye-witness accounts from returning aircrews stated that this aircraft was last seen at 1510 hours after target at position 48-16N, 07-41 E. The ship was observed with one outboard engine on fire circling to the left and then spun down and crashed. Four parachutes were seen at once, then three more in a delayed jump sequence, totaling (7) chutes.
INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The only individual accounts concerning this aircrew's missing status were those contained in German ground reports on-scene. Seven (7) men from this crew were reported as being taken prisoner by Report #KU1251 which also noted the time of the aircraft crash as 1530 hours near the village of Kinsheim. It was noted that (7) crewmembers were captured, all positively identified from their dog tags; and (3) others were found dead at the scene: The Pilot Peterson, L.G. and Co-Pilot Lidgard and one other who could not be identified (Note: This body later proved to be that of the Tail Gunner Dinda). From these enemy reports, it was determined that the three dead crewmen were found in the crashed plane which site was pin-pointed as (1) kilometer southwest of Kestenholz/County of Schlettstadt.
S/Sgt Apgar was wounded and spent some time in a POW hospital. While there, he wrote his sister a letter that the Germans apparently kept, as it is in file KU 1251. He told her, "Our bomber got shot down. But I bailed out just in time, before she blew up, I am wounded in the right arm. They got me on their second pass, but I'll be alright in time. I am in a German hospital and they treat me mighty fine. Don't tell mom what happened if you can help it, just tell her I am fine.
BURIAL RECORDS: The enemy reports above reflected that the deceased crewmen were buried on 20 March 1944 at 1445 hours in the community cemetery of Kinsheim. Later, U.S. National overseas Cemetery listings noted the following re-interments: Lidgard in the EPINAL Military Cemetery, France (Grave A-30-3) and Dinda, also at EPINAL (Grave A-14-3). There exists no record of Lt. Peterson in any U.S. overseas plot which suggests that his body was returned to the States later at Family request. Lidgard is noted to have earned the Air Medal with (3) Oak Leaf Clusters; and Dinda received an Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters. Only Dinda is recorded to have been given a Purple Heart; but not Lidgard.
NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information is as follows: Peterson (Father, Edward C., Frederick, South Dakota); Lidgard (Wife, Margaret A., Adrian, Michigan); Long (Mother, CIoe I., Allegan, Michigan); Cannistraro (Father, Dennie, Waltham, Massachusetts); Bellerive (Wife, Genevieve K., Collyer, Kansas); Lawrence (Mother, Ida A., Salem, Virginia); Smith (Wife, Mary F., Webb City, Missouri); Apgar (Sister, Mrs. Emily M. Whalen, Plainfield, New Jersey); Dinda (Mother, Anna E., Newton Falls, Ohio); and Opsahl (Wife, Dorothy K., Lakota, North Dakota).
Dorothy K Schuh Opsahl (1925 - 2010)*
North Dakota, USA
Created by: Wayne Apgar
Record added: Jun 12, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38269949
Added: Jun. 8, 2014
Honoring your service and sacrifice for our country during WWII!|
Added: Jan. 13, 2014
This grateful nation thanks you for a job well done, may you rest in peace and may we never forget you.|
Added: Jun. 13, 2009
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