2Lt Arthur H. Dittmer

2Lt Arthur H. Dittmer

Birth
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death
24 Aug 1944 (aged 21)
Germany
Burial
Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
Plot
Plot E Row 14 Grave 14
Memorial ID
56298221 View Source

USAAF WORLD WAR II
Pilot 2nd/Lt. Arthur H. Dittmer KIA
Hometown: Glendale, L.I., New York
Squadron: 68th 44th Bomb Group
Service# 0-818843
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

MACR #8273
Target: Langenhagen, Germany
Mission Date: 24-Aug-44
Serial Number: 44-40098
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: B
Aircraft Name: LONE RANGER
Location: Near Hannover
Cause: FLAK

The mission to Langenhagen airfield was well into Germany, near Hannover, where there was a FW assembly field. Results of the bombing ranged from very good to excellent, with the drop being made visually. Barrage type flak was intense and accurate, causing the loss of one 68th Squadron plane.

MACR #8273 includes this information, “At 1127 hours, aircraft #44-40098 was seen to peel off from the formation with its #3 engine and right wing in flames. When last seen, it appeared under control and two chutes were seen.” [Near Hannover]
The navigator, Arnold H. Grueber, provided additional information, “I had been flying with two or three crews – lack of manpower, you know. Was flying with the Minnesota boys every day, and when my crew was called up, I flew with them.
“This day I was flying with my crew and we were tail end Charlies. The low slot was clobbered heavily by antiaircraft fire. It not only riddled the aircraft with holes, it also set us afire and knocked out #4 engine. I bailed out at 24,000 feet and the darned plane went into a flat, but wide, spin and came at me four times! It landed in the same dry field as I did, cartwheeled and all hell broke loose.
“Injured, I was picked up by the hostile civilians and saved from hanging when the Luftwaffe Polizei arrived. Just like the old movies! I was taken to a temporary hospital and put into a room where a B-17 pilot was bedded down. He was severely burned – name of Maier, from Minnesota. I tried to nurse him the best I could while we were being transported to Dulag, near Frankfurt. But I don’t believe my litter patient survived.
“I was immediately identified as a traitor by my captors because both my grandfather and great grandfather went to the USA in the 1870’s and prior had lived in the Hanover area.”
Apparently all of the crew parachuted safely except Homer Braswell. However, at approximately 1300 hours, pilot Lt. Dittmer and right waist gunner Raymond Gasperetti, were lined up and shot – apparently by the civilians before the military arrived. This, according to statements made by
Arnold Grueber. They were murdered!
S/Sgt. Eugene B. Fogelstrom, substitute top turret gunner from the 66th Squadron, remembers,
“This was to be a routine flight. I thought that it would be a milk run as it was over water most of the way and we had been there before. Dummer Lake was our IP and always had accurate flak.
“From my position in the top turret, I could see smoke and some fire too, coming out of an engine when the alarm was sounded. I was the second one out from the front area. I counted to 10, pulled the ripcord, and felt a slight shock when the chute opened.
“I looked around but couldn’t see the plane or any other chutes. It was so quiet, no breeze, and so beautiful. I seemed so stationary that I began worrying that I wasn’t going down – perhaps I was too light and was just suspended there.
“Then I noticed that I was losing altitude and quit sweating, so reached into my pocket for a cigarette. But my lighter was in a lower pocket, so I started to unstrap my leg strap to get at it, when it dawned on me I could fall right out of the chute, so gave it up. I have always wondered what the Germans would have thought of me coming down smoking a cigarette. I really wasn’t all that cool, of course, did strange things, sometimes.”
Homer Braswell had been wounded so badly that when it came time to bail out, he simply could not make it.

LONE RANGER Crew
2nd/Lt. Arthur H. Dittmer Pilot
2nd/Lt. Marvin J. Reddick Co Pilot POW
2nd/Lt. Arnold A. H. Grueber Navigator POW
2nd/Lt. Wayne R. Davis Bombardier POW
T/Sgt. John E. Devich Engineer POW
S/Sgt. John W. Domogala Radio Op. POW
Sgt. Raymond Gasperetti Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Homer H. Braswell KIA
S/Sgt. Eugene B. Fogelstrom Gunner POW
Sgt. Grover L. Dobson Gunner POW

USAAF WORLD WAR II
Pilot 2nd/Lt. Arthur H. Dittmer KIA
Hometown: Glendale, L.I., New York
Squadron: 68th 44th Bomb Group
Service# 0-818843
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

MACR #8273
Target: Langenhagen, Germany
Mission Date: 24-Aug-44
Serial Number: 44-40098
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: B
Aircraft Name: LONE RANGER
Location: Near Hannover
Cause: FLAK

The mission to Langenhagen airfield was well into Germany, near Hannover, where there was a FW assembly field. Results of the bombing ranged from very good to excellent, with the drop being made visually. Barrage type flak was intense and accurate, causing the loss of one 68th Squadron plane.

MACR #8273 includes this information, “At 1127 hours, aircraft #44-40098 was seen to peel off from the formation with its #3 engine and right wing in flames. When last seen, it appeared under control and two chutes were seen.” [Near Hannover]
The navigator, Arnold H. Grueber, provided additional information, “I had been flying with two or three crews – lack of manpower, you know. Was flying with the Minnesota boys every day, and when my crew was called up, I flew with them.
“This day I was flying with my crew and we were tail end Charlies. The low slot was clobbered heavily by antiaircraft fire. It not only riddled the aircraft with holes, it also set us afire and knocked out #4 engine. I bailed out at 24,000 feet and the darned plane went into a flat, but wide, spin and came at me four times! It landed in the same dry field as I did, cartwheeled and all hell broke loose.
“Injured, I was picked up by the hostile civilians and saved from hanging when the Luftwaffe Polizei arrived. Just like the old movies! I was taken to a temporary hospital and put into a room where a B-17 pilot was bedded down. He was severely burned – name of Maier, from Minnesota. I tried to nurse him the best I could while we were being transported to Dulag, near Frankfurt. But I don’t believe my litter patient survived.
“I was immediately identified as a traitor by my captors because both my grandfather and great grandfather went to the USA in the 1870’s and prior had lived in the Hanover area.”
Apparently all of the crew parachuted safely except Homer Braswell. However, at approximately 1300 hours, pilot Lt. Dittmer and right waist gunner Raymond Gasperetti, were lined up and shot – apparently by the civilians before the military arrived. This, according to statements made by
Arnold Grueber. They were murdered!
S/Sgt. Eugene B. Fogelstrom, substitute top turret gunner from the 66th Squadron, remembers,
“This was to be a routine flight. I thought that it would be a milk run as it was over water most of the way and we had been there before. Dummer Lake was our IP and always had accurate flak.
“From my position in the top turret, I could see smoke and some fire too, coming out of an engine when the alarm was sounded. I was the second one out from the front area. I counted to 10, pulled the ripcord, and felt a slight shock when the chute opened.
“I looked around but couldn’t see the plane or any other chutes. It was so quiet, no breeze, and so beautiful. I seemed so stationary that I began worrying that I wasn’t going down – perhaps I was too light and was just suspended there.
“Then I noticed that I was losing altitude and quit sweating, so reached into my pocket for a cigarette. But my lighter was in a lower pocket, so I started to unstrap my leg strap to get at it, when it dawned on me I could fall right out of the chute, so gave it up. I have always wondered what the Germans would have thought of me coming down smoking a cigarette. I really wasn’t all that cool, of course, did strange things, sometimes.”
Homer Braswell had been wounded so badly that when it came time to bail out, he simply could not make it.

LONE RANGER Crew
2nd/Lt. Arthur H. Dittmer Pilot
2nd/Lt. Marvin J. Reddick Co Pilot POW
2nd/Lt. Arnold A. H. Grueber Navigator POW
2nd/Lt. Wayne R. Davis Bombardier POW
T/Sgt. John E. Devich Engineer POW
S/Sgt. John W. Domogala Radio Op. POW
Sgt. Raymond Gasperetti Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Homer H. Braswell KIA
S/Sgt. Eugene B. Fogelstrom Gunner POW
Sgt. Grover L. Dobson Gunner POW

Gravesite Details

Entered the service from New York.