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. 101 heavy
bombers, among them 16 B-24 bombers of the 44th,
were ordered to bomb the Wilhelmshaven Naval
Base. T/Sgt Suskind and his crew flew B-24
#41-23690. The crew consisted of:
Pilot 1st Lt.
Noland B. Cargile from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Co-pilot
2nd Lt. Kenneth H. Moore from Enid, Oklahoma,
Navigator Capt. Oscar H. Wilkenson from
Jackson, Mississippi, Bombardier 2nd Lt. Paul H.
Keilman from Missoula, Montana, Engineer T/Sgt. Saul
Suskind from New York City, Radio Operator S/Sgt.
Michael Geriok from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Asst. Radio S/Sgt. Verne C. Stewart from Delta,
Colorado, Asst. Eng. S/Sgt. Paul M. Crane from
Scranton, Pennsylvania, Asst. Radio S/Sgt.
Solomon I. Wise from Chicago, Illinois an Gunner
S/Sgt. Arthur A. van Cleef from Roselle, New
Due to severe
weather and poor navigation, it was decided to
hit a “target of opportunity”. These were the
harbour facilities at Lemmer, The Netherlands.
Immediately after bombing, the formation was
by about 35 German Me 109s and FW 190s of JG1.
At 1155 hours a
gunner of a B-14 of the 68th Squadron severely
damaged an attacking FW190, flown by 25 year old Feldwebel Fritz Koch
and apparently killed the pilot. This aircraft
then crashed into the left wing tip of
Lt.Cargile’s plane, tearing off the left wing, as
well as the tail assembly. The plane went into a
flat spin and crashed into the shallow Wadden
Sea, as did the German plane. No one was able to parachute
from either plane, and there were no survivors.
Despite a large-scale search by both the Germans
and Dutch, only the bodies of three American
airman were found and identified.
Another 44th BG
plane was shot down just minutes later. This
B-24 was piloted by 1Lt. Maxwell W. Sullivan.
Only one man, Lt Albert W. Glass, survived.
(This B-24 was claimed by Uffz. Herbert Haenel).
T/Sgt Saul Suskind
is buried at Margraten American Military
Cemetery, Plot M Row 22