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 Marvin F. Barner BTG on the Raymond N. Wieland crew. He was KIA with the Arthur G. Larsen crew. Detailed Information 

SERIAL #: 37490494 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 13714 CR: 13714

Comments1: 31 MAR 45 (HIT BY FLAK)





2nd Lt Raymond N.Wieland      P    CPT  TAPS: 23 MAY 1965
2nd Lt Paul L.Valentine          CT   CPT   20/4/45  ORANIENBURG, MY (100TH LAST COMBAT MISSION)
2nd Lt Anthony J.Pranger     NAV  FEH
Cpl David E.Clowe                TTE   FEH
Cpl Arthur A. Edmonston      ROG   FEH
 Cpl Marvin F.Barner             BTG   KIA   31/3/45 (With crew of A.G.Larson)  see below
Cpl Robert F.Joyce,              NG    FEH TAPS 5 MAY 1990
 Cpl John C.Ciaccia               WG   FEH  TAPS: 26 OCT 1986
Cpl Fred E. "Tex" Appleby,Jr. TG   FEH

349th Sqdn.  Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 3/12/44.  Paul Valentine joined the crew of J.W.King and 
finished with them according to a letter to this writer by Robert Culp...jb

With some changes, this became a Lead Crew.  On April 3, 1945 this crew's makeup was as follows

Maj. J.B. Milling                      Command Pilot  (351st BS C.O.)
Lt Raymond Wieland              Pilot
Lt Paul Valentine                   Co-Pilot (formation officer)
Lt Pranger                            Navigator
Lt Jack Tolliver                       Bombardier (originally on Lt Joseph King Crew)
T/Sgt David Clowe                 Top Turret Engineer
T/Sgt Arthur Edmonston         Radio Operator Gunner
Lt Ray Decker                        Mickey Operator (originally a Bombardier on Lt Walter Charles Crew, reclassifed to Radar Operator)
S/Sgt Ciaccia                         Waist Gunner
S/Sgt Fred "Tex" Appleby Jr.  Tail Gunner

DATE: 31 March 1945          349th Sqdn.         A/C #44-6470

MISSION: Zeitz                                  MACR#13714,Microfiche#5010

1st Lt Arthur G.Larsen          P     KIA
1st Lt Thomas E.O'Neil        CP     KIA     (from Lt Carroll Crew)
2nd Lt Dale F.Watterson     NAV   KIA     (from Lt Sanford Crew)
T/Sgt Charles W,Dineen     TOG    KIA
T/Sgt Raymond R.Bazata    TTE    KIA     (from Lt Carroll Crew)
T/Sgt Joseph M.Popson      ROG   KIA     (from Lt Carroll Crew)
S/> Willard P.Bostrom      BTG   KIA
S/Sgt Marvin F.Barner       WG      KIA    (from Lt Wieland Crew)
S/5gt John E.Kaiser           TG      POW  (from Lt Carroll Crew)

349th Sqdn.  Crew,as above,was taken from microfilm of the original  MACR. However,Sgt Obuchowski (WG) was not aboard this A/C on 31/3/45. S/Sgt Marvin F.Barner was flying as WG and was KIA.

Of the above,O'Neill,Bazata,Popson and Kaiser were members of J.A.Carroll's crew which joined the 10Gth Group on 5/l0/44. Barner was from the crew of R.E.Wieland.

Arthur Larsen,Willard Bostrom & John Obuchowski were members of the John H.Williams crew when it joined the 100th on 23 Aug.1944. Larsen & Bostrom left that crew when it became a Pathfinder crew.

The Command Pilot for this mission was the 100th's unflappable "Air Boss",  Lt. Colonel Harry F. Cruver, shortly thereafter to become the Group Commander. Of interest is that the Command Navigator was Major Harry Crosby, the Group Navigator. Both of these "Harry's" are larger than life figures in the history of the 100th. 

EYEWITNESS:  " A/C 44-6470 was hit by flak immediately after bombs away.#3
             engine was knocked loose and dropped off the wing.The A/C nosed
             up;then leveled off and started for the undercast in a steep glide.
             At the Rally point pilot made a 180 degree turn and headed back
             toward Russia. He was heard over VHF saying that #4 prop was running away
             and that he would attempt to reach the Russian lines. The A/C was
             under control and there was no fire. One chute was seen to leave
             the A/C. Allied fighters were escorting A/C."

          STATEMENT OF S/SGT. JOHN E. KAISER.JR. 18243028

The following information was received by Captain Charles W.Terry,Station 139
Prisoner of War Officer on interrogation of S/Sgt.Kaiser 24 April 1945.S/Sgt
Kaiser, since this date has returned to the Zone of Interior.

    "On 31 March 1945,A/C 44-6470 was hit by flak while over the target at
Zeitz, Germany and its #3 engine was knocked out of its mount. It nosed up out
of the formation,levelled off,then started down in a steep glide. Just before
reaching the undercast,the pilot was heard to say he would try to reach the
Russian lines and the A/C went into the undercast on an easterly heading."

    S/Sgt Kaiser was flying as tail gunner and states that his A/C was hit twice.
After the flrst hit it remained in level flight and the engineer called on inter-
phone to ask if he was allright.There were noises from the front that sounded
like pieces of the plane were ripping away. When it was hit again a few seconds later,
the A/C started down in a steep glide. He fastened on his chute and called over in
interphone but no one answered. He looked back into the waist but could see nothing
because of smoke. The A/C was vibrating badly so he decided to get out. His cloth-
ing hung on the handle of the escape hatch and he was trapped there for about 30
seconds. He tried to climb back  nto the A/C but was ueak from lack of oxygen
and could not,so he pulled his-self up as far as possible and let go. This freed
him from the plane so he opened his chute and looked down. He floated across the
German Air Field located at 5059 N 1231 E. As he floated over the woods just east
of this A/F,he noticed that there were hundreds of E/A dispersed there. He landed in
an open field just east of the woods and was momentarily unconscious. When he came
to,he saw several soldiers (Luftwaffe) approaching,so he stood up with hls hands
over his head.

    After being captured and brought to a Prisoner of War Camp at Weimer he was
interrogated by a German Officer. The interrogator asked him the names of the
members of his crew. He gave him their last names end was told that his crew had
crashed a few miles away and all had been killed. As proof he produced a basket
containing the dog tags, bill folds, watches, and other personal property of the men.
Sgt.Kaiser was allowed to look through this equipment and when he found the wedd-
ing ring of his Pilot,1st Lt Arthur G.Larson,Jr. he asked the Interrogator if he
would not allow him to take it to Lt.Larsen's wife. He replied ''sure" and gave it
to him.

Subj: Re Crash of # 44-6470  
Date: 7/4/2002 5:02:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: JaniceKay4 

Holidays seem to give incentives to write, and this July 4th I have recently received letters which confirm the crash site. The researchers also express the real possibility that the crew were murdered by SS troops and we may never have formal documentation on what happened. In 1955, there were rosters for 131 American dead still believed to be interred in East Germany.

This note is for you three personally because you have all  done so much to help solve the mystery of my father's death.  Please do NOT publish the note in the Splasher Six.  Let's wait until after we have heard something definitive and official from the US Army Memorial Team.  I just want to keep you updated as the search continues.

July 4, 2002

RE: Crashsite of AC #44-6470

I have recently received letters from Europe which confirm the crashsite of AC #44-6470 near Oberlungwitz, Germany.
"I can now confirm definitely that the bomber that crashed at Oberlungwitz (for which Mr. Giegling and the Community of Ernstthal-Hohenstein have collected eye-witness accounts etc.)is the one piloted by Lt. Larsen because all other bomber losses on that day are now accounted for.  The burial of T/Sgt Dineen in Ernstthal can be considered as circumstantial evidence for this loss of the Larsen aircraft.  Wreckage of the B-17 near Oberlungwtz has been completely removed since." As for the crew, Mr. Hey believes the crewman could have been victims of a war crime. Earlier, I forwarded the reports that 4-7 parachutes were seen, followed by SS troops searching for the crew with dogs and warning the people of the area that they would be shot if they aided the airmen. Mr. Hey  gave me suggestions to follow documentation although in his records, there is NO entry for victims of the 31st of March, 1945 Ernstthal area.  Then, the War Crimes records do not always show the names of the victims.

My German correspondent, Mr. Horst Giegling, has been in touch with Mr. Hey and with the people of Chemnitz and also sent me an important update.  Mrs. Korbitz of Chemnitz had a childhood memory of a burial at an unmarked grave and has recently returned to the site. Mr. Giegling's  friend at the U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Activity-Europe called Horst and said that the office intends to visit the area in August and will contact Mrs. Korbitz.  After so many years, there is little hope of recovering the remains of Lt. Larsen's crew but steps are being taken to explore possiblities.

Although the crashed plane has been moved, Mr. Giegling has sent me photos of the field where the plane crashed.  He actually included a small piece of metal he found at the site, about the size of a dog tag (but definitely NOT a dog tag.)  Again, the consideration of the researchers involved have become an important part of the search for the air crew.

On days like today, we know the price that has been paid for our freedoms. Thank you all for your continuing support in the search for Lt. Larsen's crew.  
Sincerely, Janice


Marvin F. Barner was born on December 11, 1925 in Nebraska. His parents were Milford W. and Sophia Johnson Greene Barner. According to the US Census 1930, the family lived in Strahan, Nebraska.

Barner was drafted and inducted into military service. No records have been located, but his age and assignments make 1943 as year of entry plausible. He was trained as an aerial gunner, and sent to crew training. This crew, under the supervision of Lt Wieland, moved to England, and arrived on December 12, 1944.

On March 31, 1945, he replaced Sgt Oburchowski on the Larsen crew for a mission to bomb the synthetic oil refinery (Braunkohle Benzin AG facility) at Zeitz, Germany. The aircraft was hit by flak, knocking the # 3 engine from the wing. Although under control, the aircraft turned toward Russia, and the pilot announced by radio he was trying for the Russian lines. The aircraft crashed in Germany. Witnesses on the ground tell that all crewmen bailed out, and landed safely, but were captured and executed by S.S. troops. No confirmation has been located.

In 1947, bodies in the cemetery at Ernsthall were exhumed, Americans had reportedly been buried there. The body of TSgt Dineen was the only one found. All others are now remembered on the Walls of the Missing in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. In addition, there is a memory stone for Barner in the Greenwood Cemetery in Wayne, Nebraska
SSgt Marvin F. Barner was acting as waist gunner on B-17G # 44-6470, unnamed, assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 13714 was issued for the loss. Crew rosters and personnel files show the crew on board was:

1 Lt Arthur G. Larsen, Jr.  p
1 Lt Thomas E. O'Neill  c-p
2 Lt Dale F. Watterson  nav
TSgt Charles M. Dineen  tog
TSgt Raymond R. Bazata  eng/tt gun
TSgt Joseph M. Popson  r/o
SSgt Willard P. Bostrom  btg
SSgt Marvin F. Barner  wg
SSgt John E. Kaiser  tail gun

TSgt Dineen's middle initial is given as "M" in 100th BG records, but his middle name was "Walter."
Sgt Kaiser was the only survivor.


TARGET: Zeitz DATE: 1945-03-31  


GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Henri-Chapelle Am Cemetery  


Marvin F. Barner   349th   WG   Nebraska   KIA   31 Mar 45   Zeitz   Arthur G. Larsen Crew

 The Raymond N. Wieland crew. After this crew left Ardmore, OK, and completed their Phase Training, I believe this photo was taken as the Replacement Center in Lincoln, NE after the crew received their new flying clothing. (Note Clowe's TTE light colored fur collar.) L to R Rear: Waist Gunner John C. Ciaccia, Ball Turret Gunner Marvin F. Barner, Radio Operator Gunner Arthur A. Edmonston, Nose Gunner Robert F. Joyce, and Top Turret Engineer David E. Clowe. L to R Front: Tail Gunner Fred E. "Tex" Appleby, Jr., Co-Pilot Paul L. Valentine, Navigator Anthony J. Pranger, and Pilot Raymond N. Wieland. Wieland Crew Information. (Photo courtesy of Harry Valentine, son of Paul Valentine) 



Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 223