His daughter, Adrian Leist Caldwell writes: "My
mom was a student at a College in the nearby
town of Hattiesburg. They met and married in
March of 1941. My dad's enlistment in the
National Guard was fulfilled and he was released
from service. Shortly after his release from
obligation with the Ohio National Guard, he was
drafted and chose the Army Air Corp.
courtesy of Mrs. Adrian Leist Caldwell)
Because of my dad's size, only 5'9" and weighing
145 lbs, he was assigned as a Tail Gunner. He
trained on bases from Texas to Nebraska, and New
Jersey. Finally in October of 1941, he was sent
to the 100th Bomb Group base near Thorpe Abbots,
England and assigned to the 418th Squadron."
of Mrs. Adrian Leist Caldwell)
On February 4,
1944 S/Sgt Leist and his crew took off for their
15th mission. Target was Frankfurt, Germany. The
crew consisted of:
1Lt William E.
2Lt Jack P. Jensen, co-pilot
2Lt John J. Joyce, Navigator
2Lt John S. Hamilton, Bombardier
S/Sgt Robert W. Valentik, Radio Operator Gunner
S/Sgt Roman E. Beran, Top Turet Gunner Engineer
S/Sgt Richard K. Anderegg, Ball Turret Gunner
S/Sgt Sanford Tisdale, Waist Gunner
S/Sgt Harry J. Waskewicz, Waist Gunner
S/Sgt Leroy E. Leist, tail Gunner
Sasser was the Original ROG on this crew but was
replaced on the Feb 4, 1944 mission by S/Sgt
THE DRAFT - Picture
taken at Dalhart, Texas prior to October 1943.
(Kneeling l to r): William Green (P), Jack
Jensen (CP), Jack Hamilton (BOM), John Joyce (NAV).
(Standing l to r): Roman Beran (TTE), Richard
Anderegg (BTG), Robert Valentik (ROG), Sanford
Tisdale (RWG), Unknown, Leroy Leist (TG).
(picture courtesy 100th BG assoc.)
Their plane was
hit by flak and damaged on the flight. Later,
the formation was attacked by German Me109's and
Fw190's.The Missing Aircrew Report mentions:
"This A/C, in 3rd element of the high squadron,
pulled out of formation at 1352 hours and headed
for the undercast. It was smoking but appeared
under control. No chutes were seen."
22 year old Lt.
William Green tried to dive through the
undercast for cover. However, Erich Scheyda of
JG 26 followed the plane down and gave it the
The bodies of
Harry Waskewicz, John Hamilton and Richard
Anderegg were recovered near Ouddorp, Holland on
6 February 1944. They were buried on 7 February
1944 in Ouddorp Communal Cemetery.
The body of John Joyce was recovered near
Ellemeet, Holland on 5 April 1944 and was buried
on 18 April 1944 in Haamstede Cemetery, near
Adrian Caldwell continues: "My greatest
possession is an old brown scrapbook my mother
kept containing pictures, letters from the
families of the other crew members and the most
dreaded paper a family could receive, the
telegram that begins, "We regret to inform
I was 20 months old, my mother 22 years old. My
Daddy Babe was 26 and considered an "old-timer."
Jack Jensen, Jack Hamilton, John Joyce, Bill
Kneeling: Sanford Tisdale, Richard Anderegg,
Roman Beran, Tom Sasser, Harry Waskewicz, and
(picture courtesy of 100th BG assoc.)
S/Sgt Leroy E. Leist
is mentioned on the Margraten Wall of the
Note: The B17
of Lt. Green and his crew has been located. At
this moment families are anxiously awaiting the
governments decision whether to salvage the
plane and the six remaining airmen