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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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23.08.1944 No. 444th Bomb Squadron B-26 Marauder 43-34240 1st Lt. Weier

Operation: Roadblock at Covigliaio Italy

Date: 23rd August 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 444th Bomb Squadron, 320th Bomb Group, 12th Air Force

Type: B-26G Marauder "Pancho and His Reever Rats"

Serial: 43-34240

Code: 97

Base: USAAF Decimomannu, Sardinia

Location: Firenzuola, Italy

Pilot: 1st Lt. Wilbert L. Weier 0-688882 USAAF Age 25. Killed

Co-Pilot: Flt O William H Hallenbeck T-062069 USAAF Killed

Bmr: Sgt. Joseph B. Betenjany 32337357 USAAF Killed

Radio/Gnr: S/Sgt. Ray T. Ivey, 34447308 USAAF Killed

Eng: S/Sgt. Albert A. Giuffre 32145242 USAAF PoW Stalag 7A

Gnr: Sgt. Walter E. Kadel 32741967 USAAF Killed

Photographer/Gnr: S/Sgt. Hilary R. Yavorosky 31186876 USAAF Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Lost due to Flak over target. It was last seen at 10:05 hours at 44°05’ North/11°22’ East with fire enveloping the right engine and bomb bay. Three/four chutes were seen to emerge, and the aircraft exploded in mid-air at about 1,000’.

Only survivor S/Sgt. Albert Giuffre, bailed out successfully and taken PoW. The others were declared Missed in Action (MIA) and later Killed in Action (KIA).

Above and below: B-26G Marauder "Pancho and His Reever Rats"

Burial details:

1st Lt. Wilbert L. Weier. Clinton Grove Cemetery Clemens, Michigan USA. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

Flt O William H Hallenbeck. Florence American Cemetery Italy. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

Sgt. Joseph B. Betenjany. Florence American Cemetery Italy. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

S/Sgt. Ray T. Ivey. Florence American Cemetery Italy. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

S/Sgt. Albert A. Giuffre. Florence American Cemetery Italy. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

Sgt. Walter E. Kadel. Florence American Cemetery Italy. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

Photographer/Gnr: S/Sgt. Hilary R. Yavorosky. Florence American Cemetery Italy. No further details - are you able to add to this record?

Researcher Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - April 2017. With thanks to Frank Snakter for B26 photographs, remainder from the Michel Beckers collection.

MB 04.04.2017

Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 20 September 2017, 16:21