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William A Rathgeber

Military

Shot down 19 May 1943 in B-17 #41-24483 'Spirit of Alcohol'. Killed in Action (KIA).

Service

People

  • Arthur Poston

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Killed in Action (KIA) 19 May 1943 in B-17 #41-24483 'Spirit of Alcohol'. He went to Bassingbourn from MacDill Field about November/December 1942. He was on his 17th mission. The pilot (Lt. Baxley) told his parents in a letter that they were...

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Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 322nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24483 Spirit of Alcohol

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-U] Bangor 2/9/42; Bassingbourn 29/9/42; Missing in Action Kiel 19/5/43 with Edwin Baxley, Co-pilot: Jim Breeden, Navigator: Jim Fulmer, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Jarvis Hall (4 Prisoner of War); Bombardier: Arthur L...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 41

    8 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rennes and Rouen, France are the primary targets for this mission. A formation comprised of 67 B-17s: 91BG (14); 303BG (19); 305BG (16) and 306BG (18) is despatched to bomb at Rennes. Conditions are good with no cloud...

  • VIII Bomber Command 45

    18 March 1943
    The U-Boat pens at Vegesack-Bremen are the primary target of this mission. 76 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (18); 303BG (20); 305BG (18) and 306BG (20). These are joined by 17 B-24's: 44BG (9) and 93BG (15). Of the 103 aircraft despatched 97 are effective...

  • VIII Bomber Command 46

    22 March 1943
    The U-Boat pens and harbour facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. 76 B-17's are despatched: 91BG (21); 303BG (18); 305BG (18); and 306BG (19). These are joined by 26 B-24's: 44BG (12) and 93BG (14). Of this force...

  • VIII Bomber Command 47

    28 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rouen/Sotteville are the primary target. 79 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (22); 303BG (18); 305BG (19); 306BG (20). Of the 79 B-17's despatched 70 are effecrive on the target. One B-17 is MIA and 9 are damaged. The bomber...

  • VIII Bomber Command 50

    5 April 1943
    The industrial area of Antwerp, Belgium is the primary target of this mission. More specifically the Erla aircraft and engine factories are the highest priority. 79 B-17s are depatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (21); 305BG (18); 306BG (20). 64 of the 79 are...

  • VIII Bomber Command 51

    16 April 1943
    The German U-Boat threat to Allied ship convoys and the destruction of the harbour facilities supporting that capability are the number 1 priority of the Combined Bomber Offensive. Thus, the U-boat pens at Lorient, France and the harbour facilities at...

  • VIII Bomber Command 52

    17 April 1943
    The largest mission to date, 117 B-17s, are despatched to bomb the primary target of the Focke-Wulf Aircraft factory at Bremen, Germany: 91BG (32); 303BG (29); 305BG (28) and 306BG (26). The German Luftwaffe is learning fast and mounts a fierce and...

  • VIII Bomber Command 53

    1 May 1943
    The U-boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the primary target. 78 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (19); 305BG (21); 306BG (18). Poor weather frustrates the bombing effort and only 29 of the 78 despatched are effective on the target. The ordnance...

  • VIII Bomber Command 54

    4 May 1943
    The Ford and General Motors vehicle plants at Antwerp, Belgium are the primary target for this mission. 79-B-17 are despatched 91BG (25); 303BG (27) and 305BG (27). 65 0f the 79 despatched are effective on the target. There is moderate flak and fighter...

  • VIII Bomber Command 55

    13 May 1943
    The large fighter sweeps of the last several weeks have not been successful in drawing any significant numbers of German fighters in opposition. So, if the German will not send his fighters up for a one-on-one confrontation with the American P-47s,...

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Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Event Location Date
Killed in Action (KIA) Belgium 19 May 1943
Died 19 May 1943
Lived in

Hometown of record: New York, NY

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 February 2020 20:41:30 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "-" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" for clarity.

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2019 00:43:11 BPoston Changes to mission associations
Sources

BPoston

Date Contributor Update
08 January 2018 21:06:34 mvandemark Changes to service number, awards and events
Sources

Updated information

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:38 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15632 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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