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Samuel Brooks Shirley Jr.

Military

Lt. Col. Samuel Brooks Shirley, Jr., aka Sam, Bruce, Brooks, was exceedingly honest and maintained an intelligent and creative sense of humor. He wrote plays and poems for friends and family. He believed in working hard without complaint. After retirement from the USAF, he worked for Lockheed Corporation at NASA, Houston, Texas and in Washington D.C. He served as President of the National Management Association. He loved baseball, and while stationed in Japan, he started Little League and coached in the Philippines. He built play houses for his grandchildren on the family farm. He enjoyed working on the farm and the ranch even though it was hard work to build fences and maintain cows. In 1996, he started talking about WWII, Korea, Iceland, Japan and the Philippines. His memories were accurate and have been verified through USAF records and newspaper articles. Sam recalled every crew member and described each with respect. His respect for the Japanese and Filipino people he met was evident. Sam flew 28 missions with the 94th BG, 333rd BS between October 25, 1943 and April 11, 1944. He was the pilot on the first four bombing runs on Berlin. He flew with the 8th Recon Courier Sq, 802nd Recon group from April 12, 1944 - June 16, 1944. He served in Iceland, and flew 32 aerial missions in Korea, flying C -47s for C-54s. He served in the Occupying Forces in Japan and served in the Philippines.
Crew 31 arrived in England in October, 1943: 2nd Lt. Samuel Brooks Shirley, Jr. pilot; 2nd Lt. George F. Brice, co pilot; 2nd Lt. Oliver N. Fike, Navigator; 2nd Lt. Charles W. Haarlamment, bombardier; S/Sgt. Roy R Thomas, Engineer, Assist.Engineer, gunner; S/Sgt. Albert P. Imhoff, assist. engineer, gunner; S/Sgt. Henry A. Martin, assist. radio operator and gunner; S/Sgt. Bethel H. McNeely, assist. radio operator and gunner; Sgt. George W. Swearengin, gunner; T/Sgt. Michael (NMI) Blumenberg, radio operator (he does not appear in pictures with the crew later). ___________ Wilson later joined crew as radio operator and navigator

Service

People

  • George Brice

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 12 May 1944 in B-17 #4231704. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Bethel McNeely

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Airplane Armorer-Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Returning from bombing raid on air fields and submarine pens at Bordeaux, Fr, Sunday, 05 December 1943 - had to ditch 55 miles off of Lands End, Eng. Picked up by British Air Sea Rescue and returned to base five days later - Thursday, December 9, 1944....

  • Roy Thomas

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 458th Bomb Group

  • Roy Thomas

    Military | Sergeant | Aerial Gunner | 490th Bomb Group
    Member of Campbell crew

Units served with

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 119

    3 November 1943
    October 1943 turned out to be the worst loss rate for 8th Air Force for the entire war. 2,145 B-17s and 303 B-24s had been dispatched on missions. 163 B-17s had been lost (lost rate 7.5991%) and 9 B-24s were lost (loss rate 2.9703%). These loss rates...

  • VIII Bomber Command 121

    5 November 1943
    Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also...

  • VIII Bomber Command 127

    11 November 1943
    This mission is composed of two element. The first element is a combined force of 167 B-17s of 3rd Bomb Division including: 94BG (21); 95BG (20); 96BG (42-double force); 100BG (20); 385BG (23) and 390BG (21) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling...

  • VIII Bomber Command 131

    16 November 1943
    This mission was directed at targets in Norway. It was composed of three elements. The first element was a combined force of 189 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 384BG (21); 303BG (20); 379BG (22); 351BG (20); 91BG (20); 381BG (22); 305BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 134

    19 November 1943
    The primary target for this mission was Gelsenkirchen, Germany by adverse weather conditions and failure of the PFF equipment caused al formations to seek out targets of opportunity along the German-Dutch border. The force was composed of 168 B-17s...

  • VIII Bomber Command 138

    26 November 1943
    The industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the target for this massive mission (largest to date) of 505 B-17s which included 14 B-17 Pathfinders from 482BG spread among the B-17 formations - 13 of these completed the mission and 7 were damaged. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 140

    29 November 1943
    This is another massive raid on Bremen, Germany by a force of 360 B-17s. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 182 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 94BG (40); 95BG (20); 96BG (41); 100BG (20);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 143

    30 November 1943
    This mission is directed at a single target - the industrial areas of Solingen, Germany. The mission consists of three elements. The first element is a force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (24); 92BG (20); 303BG (20); 305BG (16...

  • VIII Bomber Command 149

    5 December 1943
    This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 216 B-17 from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (10); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (21); 351BG (35); 379BG (21); 381BG (30); 384BG (20); and 301BG (20)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 154

    13 December 1943
    The port areas at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are despatched. This mission is comprised of 8 elements. The first element consists 182 B-17s from: 91BG (31);...

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Associated Place

  • Bury St Edmunds

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and...

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2020 19:36:27 Nanci Silver Boice Changes to biography
Sources

Lt. Col. Samuel Brooks Shirley, Jr. USAF records, pictures, and personal accounts; newspaper articles

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2020 19:17:42 Nanci Silver Boice Changes to unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Samuel Brooks Shirley, Jr. USAF records and personal accounts; newspaper accounts

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2020 18:11:33 Nanci Silver Boice Changes to biography
Sources

Air force records, newspaper records, personal accounts from Samueal Brooks Shirley, Jr.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2020 17:49:13 Nanci Silver Boice Changes to biography
Sources

Airforce records and newspaper articles.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2020 13:41:15 Nanci Silver Boice Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, suffix, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Nanci G. Silver Boice, step daughter of Samuel Brooks Shirley and daughter of Major Martin "John" Silver, who was killed in the Philippines in 1961.

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