Military History/25 combat missions
A family member, SSGT Carl Niemann was killed in a B-17G midair collision July 7, 1944.It was his 26th combat mission.As with the crew of the memphis belle, shouldn't his duty have ended with the 25th mission?He was in the 384th bomb squadron.
ANSWER: Actaully a lot of crewman ended up flying way more than the "original" set 25 mission quota, when the war first started they could be rotated home after 25 , and that was if they made it through that many, the latter part of the war there were a lot of aircraft and thus "crew" losses , so they other men of a unit would have to fill the spots , it was a rough thing for them but war dictated they ahd to do so .
I suggest you also try contacting the 384th Bombardment Group reunion website and ask for thier "historian" he should be able to fiill you in on more about how the missions were decided and who flew how many . You may also want to post a note about it on this site, it' free to join and post on,
Have a great day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Also I noticed that there were only 9 crewmembers on board the day of the accident.There was only one waist gunners instead of the two called for.Why was this?
Most likely they were short enough people to fill up the crew for thier aircraft , if not enough replacements arrived in time, missions had to be flown with short crews, in case of needing the other gun being "manned" sometimes the radio operator or another crewman on the flight would man the "open" position.
At times certian "postions" on the crew like the radio operator or navigator weren't needed at thier "post" on the flight/mission and they could go the another crew position and take over it for awhile .