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Edward Aloysius Blattner Jr

Military

June 1, 1922: Edward Aloysius Blattner (Nickname: "Buddy") was born in Chicago Illinois

June 1936: Graduated from St. Catherine of Sienna Elementary School, Oak Park Illinois

June 1940: Graduated from Austin High School, Chicago Illinois

July 1, 1944: Graduated from the Army Air Forces Bombardier School of Carlsbad New Mexico, Class of 44-9, with a commission of Flight Officer.

February 11, 1945 (on or about): Arrived at Rattlesden U.K. as bombardier in Bruckman crew.

March 23, 1945: KIA

After the bomb run on March 23, 1945, Ol' Scrapiron (42-31582) dropped from the 4th Bomb Wing formation and joined the 34th Bomb Group formation returning to England from its mission to Geisecke. Near Koblenz, one of the 34th aircraft (43-38971) was struck by flak, losing its wing. The damaged aircraft first rolled into a plane from the 487th, which remained flying, before colliding with Ol' Scrapiron. The plane from the 447th with the Bruckman crew on-board was broken apart at the waist.

Tail-gunner Byron Schlag was the only member of the crew able to bail out, after riding the tail section down to 8,000 feet -- at times losing consciousness from lack of oxygen. Amazingly, Ed Shibble survived the fall (though sustaining serious injuries), trapped in the ball turret until it broke free of the aircraft as it crashed through some trees. The two gunners were captured. The rest of the crew perished along with the entire crew from the 34th.

From MACR 13617:

At 1347 hours, 27000 ft. altitude, the A/C flying No. 11 position of the 34th Group was hit by flak and peeled off to the left. After glancing off A/C of the 487th Group, No. 11 struck A/C #582 who went into a tight spin. The right wing folded and there was one explosion within the A/C in mid-air. #582 then hit the ground in a wooded area and exploded again. 2 chutes were observed. Coordinates were approximately (5040-0740). This report corroborated by 93rd Wing, 34th Bomb Group and 487th Bomb Group.

Service

Units served with

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 711th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-31092 Butch II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/9/43; Gr Island 3/10/43; Assigned 401BG Deenethorpe 19/11/43; transferred 708BS/447BG [CQ- ] Rattlesden /43; Salvaged 20/4/45. BUTCH II.

  • 42-31582 Ol' Scrapiron

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; Paine Fd 28/11/43; Toledo 1/12/43; Felts Fd 4/12/43; Gt falls 5/12/43; Cheyenne 7/12/43; Kearney 19/12/43; Detroit 8/1/44; Montreal 10/1/44; Presque 12/1/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 23/1/44. ...

  • 42-97392

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/2/44; Kearney 16/3/44; Dow Fd 5/4/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 11/4/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 9/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 42-97572

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/12/43; Dalhart 16/1/44; Kearney 22/2/44; Assigned 457BG Glatton 2/3/44; transferred 711BS/447BG [IR-C] Rattlesden 3/3/44; mid-air collision with 44-83279 (447BG) with Bob Chowning 22/3/44, force landed 20 miles NW base; Salvaged...

  • 42-97804

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 2/3/44; Hunter 7/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 1/5/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 11/9/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 12/11/45.

  • 43-38731 Blythe Spirit

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 13/9/44; Grenier 27/9/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 1/10/44; Missing in Action Oranienburg 15/3/45 with Harluf Jessen, Harry Pfautz, Karl Laubhan, Dick Kirkorowski, Helmer Gangestad, Claude Gatlin, Ed Evans tg, Cecil Campbell...

Missions

  • 849

    26 February 1945
    Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description ...

  • 872

    8 March 1945
    Mission 872: 1,353 bombers and 326 fighters are dispatched to hit benzol plants, an oil plant and rail targets in Germany using PFF; NO AIRCRAFT ARE LOST AND THERE ARE NO CASUALTIES! ...

  • 875

    9 March 1945
    Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description ...

  • 881

    11 March 1945
    Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description ...

  • 886

    14 March 1945
    "1,250 Heavies Strike Tanks, Gun Factories Near Hanover" ...

  • 896

    19 March 1945

  • 898

    20 March 1945
    Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description ...

  • 8th Air Force 901

    21 March 1945

  • 8th Air Force 908

    23 March 1945
    Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description ...

Associated Place

  • Rattlesden

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois 1 June 1922
Elementary School Graduation Oak Park, IL, USA June 1936

Graduated from St. Catherine of Sienna Elementary School, Oak Park Illinois

High school Graduation Chicago, IL, USA June 1940

Graduated from Austin High School, Chicago Illinois

Graduated Bombardier School Carlsbad, NM 88220, USA 1 July 1944

Graduated from the Army Air Forces Bombardier School of Carlsbad New Mexico, Class of 44-9, with a commission of Flight Officer.

Avon Park Florida Army Airfield Avon Park Florida 9 December 1944

Flight and bombardier training at the army airfield in Avon Park Florida

Arrived Rattlesden Airbase Rattlesden, Bury Saint Edmunds IP30, UK February 1945

Arrived at Rattlesden U.K. as bombardier in Bruckman crew.

Died Koblenz, Germany 23 March 1945

After the bomb run on March 23, 1945, Ol' Scrapiron (42-31582) dropped from the 4th Bomb Wing formation and joined the 34th Bomb Group formation returning to England from its mission to Geisecke. Near Koblenz, one of the 34th aircraft (43-38971) was struck by flak, losing its wing. The damaged aircraft first rolled into a plane from the 487th, which remained flying, before colliding with Ol' Scrapiron. The plane from the 447th with the Bruckman crew on-board was broken apart at the waist.

Tail-gunner Byron Schlag was the only member of the crew able to bail out, after riding the tail section down to 8,000 feet -- at times losing consciousness from lack of oxygen. Amazingly, Ed Shibble survived the fall (though sustaining serious injuries), trapped in the ball turret until it broke free of the aircraft as it crashed through some trees. The two gunners were captured. The rest of the crew perished along with the entire crew from the 34th.

From MACR 13617:

At 1347 hours, 27000 ft. altitude, the A/C flying No. 11 position of the 34th Group was hit by flak and peeled off to the left. After glancing off A/C of the 487th Group, No. 11 struck A/C #582 who went into a tight spin. The right wing folded and there was one explosion within the A/C in mid-air. #582 then hit the ground in a wooded area and exploded again. 2 chutes were observed. Coordinates were approximately (5040-0740). This report corroborated by 93rd Wing, 34th Bomb Group and 487th Bomb Group.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 August 2020 21:49:40 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

NARA file verified Air Medal awarded as Flight Officer in 1944.

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2018 02:17:34 jhuck Changes to events
Sources

Set location of Avon Park Florida

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2018 02:13:12 jhuck Changes to events
Sources

Air field referenced in post card from Edward Blattner to his sister Marie Estelle. (From personal collection of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner)

Date Contributor Update
11 September 2018 00:24:27 jhuck Changes to events
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source:
Personal files and History of 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; p. 269

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2018 21:48:18 jhuck Changes to events
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: Personal files

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2018 21:45:17 jhuck Changes to events
Sources

John G. Huck nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: MACR 13617 and phone and email conversations with Byron Schlag, tailgunner.

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2018 21:42:14 jhuck Changes to biography
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields, p.269

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2018 16:48:15 jhuck Changes to biography
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: Personal files

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2018 21:30:38 jhuck Changes to biography
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: Personal files

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2018 20:50:50 jhuck Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 22:25:22 jhuck Changes to mission associations
Sources

From the personal files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 21:39:09 jhuck Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

From the files of John G, Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 21:31:57 jhuck Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

From personal files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner.

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 20:27:36 jhuck Changes to service number
Sources

Official service record from files of John G. Huck

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 20:10:08 jhuck Changes to awards
Sources

Official Military Record from files of John G. Huck

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 17:50:31 jhuck Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

John G. Huck MACR #13617

Date Contributor Update
02 September 2018 20:03:31 jhuck Changes to events
Sources

From the personal files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner.

Date Contributor Update
02 September 2018 19:33:47 jhuck Changes to biography
Sources

From personal records of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner including copies of referenced MACR and photographs of falling aircraft immediately after the collision. Also from telephone interviews of tail gunner Byron Schlag.

Date Contributor Update
02 September 2018 19:24:48 jhuck Changes to middlename, nickname, awards and place associations
Sources

Personal records of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:13 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor

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