Lieut Lawrence B. Assell

Lieut Lawrence B. Assell

Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 23 Dec 1943 (aged 21)
Roswell, Chaves County, New Mexico, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Memorial ID 12847773 · View Source
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Second Lieutenant Assell was one of five airmen killed when B-17G Flying Fortress #42-31688 crashed in the Guadalupe Mountain range in Chaves County, New Mexico, while on a training flight out of the Roswell Army Airfield.

The other crew members killed were:

Capt. Edward L. Gholson
Capt. Robert C. Gibson
Capt. Charles E. Silkwood
2nd Lt. Rafael E. Arce

Son of Jane B. Assell.

- info suppliled by Tim Cook

The crash occurred in Texas (Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas), but the bodies were all taken back to Roswell Army Air Base (later named Walker AFB before closing in the 1960s) in New Mexico by Army recovery personnel and so the death certificates for all 5 deceased pilots were issued in New Mexico. I have copies of all of them. Lt. Assell was my uncle, and I was named after him. My mother was his sister. There were no other siblings. He was 21 years old at the time of his death, and was a native of Los Angeles, having attended Our Lady Of Loretto grade school, St. John's Military Academy, Loyola High School (graduated 1939), and then 2 years at Loyola University of Los Angeles before joining the Army Air Force in 1942. He was already a licensed private pilot at the time he joined the Air Force.

The B-17 in which he was killed was built at the Boeing plant in Seattle and arrived at Roswell Army Air Base one week before the crash. It had a total of 69 hours on the engines and airframe at the time it was destroyed. The flight engineer survived the crash and lived another 50 years and furnished the details to investigators of the events leading up to the crash. The 3 captains/instructors flying the aircraft were 25, 26, and 27 years old; the other student officer was 24. Both student officers were stationed in the tail of the B-17 at the time it crashed. - contributed by Lawrence Daugherty

Family Members

  • Created by: Glenn and Tracy Morrow
  • Added: 2 Jan 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 12847773
  • Lawrence M.
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Lawrence B. Assell (22 Feb 1922–23 Dec 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 12847773, citing Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Glenn and Tracy Morrow (contributor 46631129) .