Airmedal with one Oak Leaf ClusterPurple Heart
 

Staff Sergeant
Frederick A. Robinson

November 13, 1943

Albany, New York - MIA

 

 

Frederick A. Robinson was born in 1922 in Massachusetts. He was a student living in Albany, New York when he enlisted in the Air Corps on 21 October 1942.  He became an air gunner with the 44th Bomb Group, flying out of Shipdham (Army Air Force station 115). The 44th was one of the first American Bomb Groups to fly combat missions against Germany in World War Two. The 44th flew their first operational mission on 7 November 1942.

On 27 January 1943 the 8th AAF flew their first operational mission against Germany itself. Before, all targets for the 44th BG had been in France.


66th Bomb Squadron

44th Bomb Group

S/Sgt Robinson flew as tail gunner with the following crew:

Pilot 1st Lt. HARLAN C. ALMLIE, from Bricelyn, Minnesota
Co-pilot WILLIAM E. HACKER, from Roslindale, Massachusetts
Navigator 2nd Lt. JOSEPH L. SCHEXNAYDER, from Garyville, Louisiana
Bombardier 2nd Lt. WALTER J. SEILER, from Chicago, Illinois
Engineer T/Sgt. DONALD A. DAVIS, from Rockford, Illinois
Radio Oper. T/Sgt. EVERETT E.  PERMAR, from Aurora, Indiana
Belly Gun S/Sgt.  GEORGE W. IORGOV, from Donna, Texas
RW Gunner S/Sgt. JOHN L. TOWNING, , from Bell, California
LW Gunner S/Sgt. JOHN V. LUNDSTROM, from Terra Haute, Indiana

On November 1943 the 44th Bomb Group was tasked with a mission to the port of Bremen. This turned out to be a tough mission, as the crews had to content with bad weather, cold and fierce attacks by the Luftwaffe. Around 50 German fighters attacked the formation from all angles, often using the contrails of the bombers to hide their approach.

S/Sgt Robinson and his crew flew in B-24 #42-40973 "Battleaxe". The formation flew through inaccurate flak and the German fighter attacks petered out the moment the P-38 escort fighters joined the fight. The port of Bremen was bombed at 11.47.

"Battleaxe" was hit by either flak or fighters and one engine was trailing smoke. Over the North Sea it started to glide out of formation, but under control. This was when the Bomb Group was within 20 minutes flying time to the English coast. The Air-Sea rescue service was notified when it appeared that the bomber had not returned to base. No one had seen it crash or ditch, but in the following days and weeks, the bodies of five crew members washed ashore on the Dutch coast. S/Sgt Lundstrom and S/Sgt Iorgov are buried in Margraten. Three others, 2nd Lt. Seiler, T/Sgt Davis and S/Sgt Towning are today buried in the United States. Five others are mentioned on the Wall of the Missing in Margraten.

S/Sgt Robinson is mentioned on the Wall of the Missing at Margraten American Military Cemetery.


Margraten, The Netherlands

See Also:
1Lt Harlan Almlie
2Lt William Hacker
2Lt Joseph Schexnayder
2Lt Walter Seiler
T/Sgt Donald Davis
T/Sgt. Everett Permar
S/Sgt George Iorgov
S/Sgt John Towning
S/Sgt John Lundstrom

Sources
:
44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor, Will Lundy, 2004
The Mighty Eight War Diary, Roger A. Freeman, Arms and Armour, London, 1990


Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery


If you have any suggestions, comments or additional information, please contact me.

This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.

 

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