1LT Norman Elbert De Freese

Photo added by Russ Pickett

1LT Norman Elbert De Freese

Kansas, USA
Death 7 Jan 1943 (aged 25–26)
At Sea
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Wall's Of The Missing
Memorial ID 55922929 View Source
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Norman served as a First Lieutenant & Navigator on B-26 #40-1421, 33rd Bomber Squadron, 22nd Bomber Group, Medium, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Haskel County, Kansas prior to the war. He had previously resided in Laramie County, Wyoming with his sister.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on April 28, 1941, prior to the war, at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being Single, without dependents.

B-26 #40-1421 took off, with a crew of 7, from 7 Mile Drome, Central Province, Papua New Guinea on a bombing mission against a Japanese Convoy off Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.

They were attacked, near the target, by Japanese Zeros. Over the target they were hit by anti-aircraft fire and severely damaged and had to ditch in the Hercules Bay about eleven miles off shore, two miles north of the Eia River. off Salamaua. Five of the crewmen survived the ditching and eventually four of them swam to shore.

S/Sgt. Brown (see below), who was one of the five survivors, was shot by local natives who thought he was a Japanese soldier after reaching the shore.

1st Lt. De Freese, who was also one of the five survivors, had severe damage to his leg from a shell exploding inside the B-26 when they were hit by the anti-aircraft fire. He died shortly after the ditching prior to the crew swimming to shore.

Norman was declared "Missing In Action" in this ditching during the war.

He was awarded the "Silver Star" and the Purple Heart.

Service # O-434869

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Airmen who perished on B-26 #40-1421:

Brown, William M ~ S/Sgt, Engineer, NE
De Freese, Norman E ~ 1st Lt, Navigator, KS
Moseley, Jack C ~ Sgt, Bombardier, GA
Papp, Joseph P ~ S/Sgt, Radio Operator, OH

The other three crew members survived.

( Bio & Crew Report by: Russ Pickett )



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 5 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 55922929
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT Norman Elbert De Freese (1917–7 Jan 1943), Find a Grave Memorial ID 55922929, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .