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T/SGT  Robert H. BENNETT

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: ROG
SERIAL #: 17038951 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 09509 CR: 09509

Comments1: 6 OCT 44 BERLIN (FLAK)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

A/C # 43-37882 Happy-Go-Lucky      MACR #9509, Micro-fiche #3486

2nd Lt Frederick G.Reed             P       KIA  6/10/44 BERLIN
2nd Lt Edward .A. Hesse          CP       KIA  6/10/44 BERLIN
F/0 John T.Carmichael             NAV      KIA   6/10/44 BERLIN
2nd Lt Edmund W.Rohde        BOM      KIA   6/10/44 BERLIN                       
Sgt Roy F.Lomanno                TTE     P0W  6/10/44 BERLIN   (Bailed out - captured at Finkenwerder) 
Cpl Robert H. Bennett            ROG     KIA    6/10/44 BERLIN       
Cpl Robert E.Jackson              BTG     KIA    6/10/44 BERLIN         
Sgt Joseph J.Burghardt           WG    KIA     6/10/44 BERLIN (became TG when crew reduced to 9 men)
Cpl Edward V.Ankli                 WG    KIA     6/10/44 BERLIN
CPl Leo A.Soutaerd                 TG    NOC   (removed from crew when the reduction to 9 man crew was made and did not fly in 37882 on 6 Oct 1944) 

350th Sqdn.  Crew joined the 100th Group on 12/9/44. This WAS  probably the 3rd or 4th 
mission for this crew.  Crew was flying a 418th a/c.  

EYEWITNESS  "A/C #882 received a direct flak burst between #2 & #1 engine. The wing burst into 
flame and the A/C pealed off spinning and burning.   no chutes were seen.

MACR has Ankli as TTE, Jackson as BTG,  Burghardt as TG and Lomanno as WG.


Direct flak hit between the left engines - left formation and crashed at Ringstrasse 51-6, Finkenkrug, 10 km west of Spandau, Germany. After some minutes the bomb load exploded, killing a German woman who was attempting to assist the crew. The eight killed were buried as Unknowns in the Communal Cemetery at Falkensee, Germany. In August 1947 those interred in Mass Grave Row 2 Graves 5/7 at Falkensee were move to Ardennes. Cpl Robert H. Bennett, F/O John T. Carmichael, 2Lt. Edmund W. Rohde and S/Sgt Joseph J. Burghardt were individually identified by Graves Registration. At the request of next of kin the unidentified were buried in Ardennes in two adjoining graves.

MEMO 2:

Robert H. Bennett was born on September 24, 1921 in Missouri. His parents were Robert and Eva Bennett. Both US Censuses 1930 and 1940 list Bennett as living in Carthursville, Missouri, although in the 1940 census he is living with his grandfather. It is known that he enlisted on January 4, 1942, according to the Headstone Application for Military Veterans Record Card. No enlistment documents have been located. He was selected for flight duty, and trained as both a radio operator and as an aerial gunner. He was sent for crew training and familiarization with the crew headed by Lt. Reed. This crew later deployed to England, arriving there in late August, 1944. Together, the crew flew about 3 missions.

On October 6, 1944, the target area was Berlin, Germany. Flak hits disabled the left wing engines, and the wing caught fire. The aircraft spun out of control, and crashed near Spandau, Germany. After a few minutes, the bomb load exploded, killing a German woman who was attempting to assist the crew.

Eight bodies were recovered from the wreckage and buried in  the Communal Cemetery in Falkensee as "Unknowns." In 1947, these remains were recovered and only four could be identified. The unknowns were buried in two separate graves at the Ardennes American Cemetery while the others were sent to the U.S. or buried in overseas cemeteries. Robert Bennett was buried in the Little Prairie Cemetery in Carthursville, Missouri.

TSgt Robert H. Bennett was acting as the assigned radio operator and dorsal fin gunner on B-17G  #43-37882, named "Happy Go Lucky," assigned to the 418th Bomb Squadron, but flown by this 350th Bomb Squadron crew.

Missing Air Crew Report 9509 was issued for this loss. Crew records show the crew consisted of:

2 Lt Frederick G. Reed  p
2 Lt Edward A. Hesse  c-p
F/O John T. Carmichael  nav
2 Lt Edmund W. Rohde  bomb
Sgt  Roy F. Lommona  eng/tt gun
Cpl  Robert H. Bennett  r/o
Sgt  Joseph J. Burghardt  btg
Cpl  Edward V. Ankli  wg
Cpl  Leo A. Soutaera  tail gun

Cpl Soutaera was removed from the crew when the crew size was reduced, and never flew with the crew. Crew notes state Sgt Burghardt was moved to tail gunner when crew size was reduced.

Missing Air Crew Report lists Ankli was eng/tt gun, Burghardt as tail gunner, and Lommano as a waist gunner.

Sgt Lommano bailed out and survived, but was captured.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-10-06  
AIRCRAFT: "Happy-Go-Lucky" (43-37882) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 326