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FO Leland Elwood “Shane” Slane

FO Leland Elwood “Shane” Slane

Ohio, USA
Death 25 Apr 1945 (aged 20)
Plzen, Okres Plzeň-mesto, Plzeňský (Plzen), Czech Republic
Burial Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA
Plot 2, 0, 1748
Memorial ID 1186022 · View Source
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He made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He is our hero.

When Seattle Sue took off that morning of April 25, 1945 from Bassingbourn, England just days before the end of WW II V-E the time was 5:45 am. Its mission to destroy machinery in the Skoda Armaments plant in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia strategically important not to the Germans but to our allies the advancing Russians. The plant had hardly been touched being manned by 40,000 forced labor and Czechoslovokians. Pamphlets dropped and 2 BBC announcements warned the workers and the antiaircraft command of the impending raid that day. A shortage of fuel and pilots kept the Luftwaffe mostly grounded. The planes checking the weather conditions reported on Prague not Pilsen which was much worse. It would also be the last mission of their squadron before hostilities ceased.

Seattle Sue a B-17G #43-38178 (FR-P) was assigned to the 379th Bomb Group, 525th Bomb Squadron. The crew of Seattle Sue was:
P 2Lt Clair W. Evans, Grand Rapids, MI
CP 2Lt Dennis F. Lang, Stockton, CA
N FO Abraham (NMI) Teller, Bronx, NY
B FO Leland E. Slane, Columbus, OH
TT Sgt Norman B. Cooler,
Kingstree, SC
RO Sgt William B. Fanning, Forest Hills, NY
BT Sgt Robert J. Dobson, Jersey City, NJ
TG Sgt Victor L. Stewart, Waterford, OH

The aircraft was damaged in a mid-air collision as a result of flak over Pilsen with B-17G #43-38272 (FR-D) The Thumper. The Thumper was piloted by James M. Blain and his aircraft managed to crash land in Allied territory, no casualties reported in one source, another reports the tail gunner was killed. Two crew members of Seattle Sue, Teller and Cooler, managed to parachute to safety but were captured and interred in a POW camp. Norman says that he saw Leland Slane in the floor of the plane with him just before he bailed out and that Slane left the ship just after him.

Today the Krimice Memorial to Killed American Airmen stands in the square at the Lobkowiczs Castle wall in Krimice in the Czech Republic. It bears the names of Evans, Slane, Fanning, Dobson and Stewart of the crew along with 5 others and the insignia of the U. S. Eighth Air Force.

Annual memorial ceremony in Krimice, Czech Republic, to honor American Airmen who perished during the bombing of the Skoda Works in nearby Pilsen on 25 April, 1945.
Video of Ceremony This video courtesy of Wes Cooler, nephew of Norman, taken in Pilsen CZ in May 2013

For more information on the mission see:
324th Bomb Squadron Pilsen Mission
Also Seattle Sue - Bassingborne

Link to first cousins who lost their lives in WW II - Donald Hurley and Herbert Dowden

Link to other aviators who lost their lives at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia that are also on the Krimice Memorial - S/Sgt Francis H. Kelly, ball turret gunner, S/Sgt William W. Meikle , rear gunner, 2nd Lt Henry G. Moss, bombadier and S/Sgt Glenn R. Walling , engineer

Family Members


  • Maintained by: Kelton Slane
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 26 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1186022
  • Kelton Slane
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for FO Leland Elwood “Shane” Slane (5 Aug 1924–25 Apr 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1186022, citing Fort Scott National Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Kelton Slane (contributor 47521161) .