Airmedal with one Oak Leaf ClusterPurple Heart
 

T/Sergeant
Saul Suskind

January 27, 1943

New York, New York - off Lemmer

 

 

Technical Sergeant Saul Suskind was from the Bronx,  New York City.

He joined the USAAF late 1939. Going through recruit training was Mr. Alfred Suskind, unrelated to Saul and from Manhattan. He writes:

"He and I went through recruit training together and his bunk was right next to me in the barracks after we were turned to duty.  He went to instructor school at Chanute Field, Illinois.  We stayed in touch with each other until he went over seas.  His picture appeared in The daily news paper and the article read that he was the first casualty reported by the Red Cross. Of course we confused a lot of people in the new York area who though it was me. I went into the NCO club at Mitchell Field where we first met and the bartender said I was dead." 

Saul became a Top Turret Gunner/Engineer 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.


68th Bomb Squadron

44th Bomb Group

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 Jersey.

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 attacked 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
Grave 6.


Margraten, The Netherlands

See Also:
1st Lt. Noland B. Cargile
2nd Lt. Kenneth H. Moore
Capt. Oscar H. Wilkenson
2nd Lt. Paul H. Keilman
S/Sgt. Michael Geriok
S/Sgt. Verne C. Stewart
S/Sgt. Paul M. Crane
S/Sgt. Solomon I. Wise
S/Sgt. Arthur A. van Cleef

1Lt Maxwell W. Sullivan
2Lt Duane E. Nelson
1Lt Raymond C. Lunenfeld
S/Sgt Frederick W. Clark
M/Sgt Benjamin F. Duke
S/Sgt Harry L. Ottman
S/Sgt Glen C. Pierson
Sgt Thomas W. Crook
 

Acknowledgements:
Mr. G.R. Morrison
Mr. Alfred Suskind

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

Updated 21 August 2005


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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