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SSGT Robert E. Griebel

SSGT Robert E. Griebel

Nebraska, USA
Death 26 Jun 1943 (aged 24)
Papua New Guinea
Burial Riverton, Fremont County, Wyoming, USA
Memorial ID 25991077 · View Source
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Robert served as a Staff Sergeant and Asst. Radio Operator / Gunner on B-17E "Naughty But Nice" #41-2430, 65th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Fremont County, Wyoming prior to the war.

B-17E #41-2430 took off from Dobodura Airfield, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea on a night bombing mission against Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. After a successful bombing mission they, while returning to their base were attacked and shot down by a Japanese "J1N1 Irving" fighter plane piloted by Shigetoshi Kudo and crashed into the Baining Mountains southeast of Rabaul during the war. Only the Navigator, 1st Lt. Jose L. Holguin, was able to bailout prior to the crash.

Robert was originally declared "Missing In Action" in this crash and a "Cenotaph" was created for him at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Philippines.
" Click Here " for that record.

Robert's remains, along with others from this crash, were later recovered in 1949 from the crash site, however they were listed as "unknown" and interred in the Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl), Honolulu, Hawaii.

Due to the efforts of 1st Lt. Jose L. Holguin these men were later disinterred on August 7, 1984 and five of crew remains were positively identified as being Peattie, Knott, Garcia, Griebel and Payne.

Robert's status was changed to "Killed In Action" and in 1985, was interred here with his parents. Jose L. Holguin attended the funeral.

Robert was awarded the "Silver Star", "Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster", Air Medal with 1 Oak Lef Cluster and the Purple Heart.

Service # 37139583

Note: ~ In 2001 additional remains were recovered from the crash site which included partial remains of Sarsfield, Christopherson, Gionet, Knott, Peattie, Garcia, Griebel, Payne and Trimingham.

Robert Griebel's remains found in this recovery were interred on September 21, 2011 with the others at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
" Click Here " for that record.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Airmen who perished on B-17E #41-2430:

Christopherson, Robert L ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, MN
Garcia, Henry ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, CO
Gionet, Leonard A ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, MA
Griebel, Robert E ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, WY
Knott, Herman H ~ 2nd Lt, Asst. Bmb, NY
Payne, Pace P ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, TX
Peattie, Francis G ~ 1st Lt, Bombardier, NY
Sarsfield, William J, Jr ~ 1st Lt, Pilot, PA
Trimingham, Charles E ~ 1st Lt, Co-Pilot, CA

The Navigator of this B-17, 1st Lt. Jose L. Holguin was the only survivor of the crash and he became a POW of the Japanese Army. He survived the war and eventually became a Lt. Colonel.

( Bio & Crew Report by: Russ Pickett )

Special thanks to:
Dawn Stewart for submitting this record for bio updates!


Family Members





  • Created by: Dawn Stewart
  • Added: 14 Apr 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 25991077
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT Robert E. Griebel (28 Aug 1918–26 Jun 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 25991077, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Riverton, Fremont County, Wyoming, USA ; Maintained by Dawn Stewart (contributor 46839075) .