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Lt Clarence "Chris" Christman, B-17 Pilot, KIA,384th BG
1943 | Germany
Clarence (Son of Bertie H and Nellie Christman) was born in Kansas, USA. Enlisted 10 Aug 1939. Commissioned Lieut. 4 Jan 1943. Died while on a mission over Germany. World War II ...Clarence R Christman 20 March, 1920 - 25 July, 1943 Memorial Marker;
Died in WWII. Buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, Liege Province, Belgium. Awarded the Purple Heart.
Shot down by fighters on mission to Hamburg, Germany. 5 KIA; 5 POW
P 1Lt. Clarence R. "Chris" Christman KIA
CP 2Lt. R.S. Carroll POW
NAV 2Lt. William Sears POW
Bomb 2Lt. V. B. Bennett KIA
TTG T/Sgt. Albert W. Detrick POW
RO T/Sgt. J. J. Gillis KIA
BT S/Sgt. Robert A. Leonard KIA
LWG S/Sgt. Carl V. Hill POW
RWG S/Sgt. S. G. Stephenson POW
TG S/Sgt. Jerome J. Goubeaux KIA
Lt Clarence R Christman, B-17 Pilot, KIA 25 July, 1943 over Germany. 384th Bomb Group B-17 Heavies;
AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
Clarence R. Christman First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces Service # O-450218 544th Bomber Squadron, 384th Bomber Group, Heavy Entered the Service from: Kansas
Buried at: Plot A Row 38 Grave 19
Ardennes American Cemetery
Neupre, Belgium Awards: Purple Heart
42-3088 "SUGAR PUSS" SU-G P Lt. Clarence R. Christman KIA CP 2nd Lt. Robert S. Carroll POW N 2nd Lt. Vern B. Dennett KIA B 2nd Lt. William H. Sears POW TT T/Sgt. Albert W. Detrick POW R T/Sgt. John J. Gillis KIA BT S/Sgt. Robert A. Leonard KIA WG S/Sgt. Charles F. Stephenson POW WG S/Sgt. Carl W. Hill POW TG S/Sgt. Jerome J. Goubeaux KIA
The crew of "SUGAR PUSS" was not described as to what became of them, but burial of those killed was in Belgium. It is not known if they crashed there or possibly taken there from another location for temporary burial. The pattern of those killed seem to those who would have the smallest chance of escaping while in the air.
The last crew not to make it back to base, landed at Groton, England after throwing out all that was not needed to fly with. The delay was due to a shortage of fuel.
Lt. Floyd Edwards was shot in the leg on the way to the target aboard aircraft # 42-5855 JD-V, and copilot Paul Gordy did most of the flying.
An estimated 50 to 300 enemy aircraft were encountered and nineteen were claimed as destroyed and five damaged by the 384th gunners.
Lt Christman "The Men, the Mission"
25 July, 1943 | Germany
25 July, 1943; Over Germany
The Christman crew was shot down during the 25 July 1943 raid on Hamburg, Germany. This was the first in a weeklong series of raids that the 8th Air Force directed at the German industrial heartland. The British RAF bombed Hamburg by night, which created the devastating firestorm that burned out the heart of the city, killing over 40,000 people. The US's attack only added fuel to the fire. It was, however, the costliest mission to the 384th BG for 1943, losing 6 aircraft.
The Christman crew arrived at Grafton-Underwood on 4 July 1943, and flew their first mission on the 14 July 1943 mission to Villacoublay, France, but he had to abort due to a #1 engine failure. The B-17 they flew that day was 42-30129 "Snuffy." Their first official mission would unfortunately be their last, on July 25.
The aircraft they were flying on their final mission was B-17F 42-3088, named "Sugar Puss" with the squadron code SU*G. Christman was apparently killed when he struck part of the aircraft while bailing out.
**********The 384th Bomb Group B-17 Heavy*********************************
Activated 1 December 1942 at Gowen Field, Idaho. Began training at Wendover, Utah on 2 January 1943 to 1 April 1943. Unit moved to Sioux City AAB, Iowa for final training. the ground unit left for Camp Kilmer on 9 May 1943, sailing on the Queen Elizabeth on 27 May 1943 and arrived in Greenock on 2 June 1943. The aircraft left Sioux City for Kearney, Nebraska on 3 May 1943, and then to the United Kingdom via Bangor, Goose Bay, and then Gander. One B-17 ditched in the Atlantic but the crew was rescued. The first aircraft arrived into England on 25 May 1943, being stationed at RAF Grafton Underwood. The 384th was assigned to the 41st Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-P.
The Group's targets included aerodromes at Orléans, Bricy, and Nancy; motor works at Cologne; a coking plant at Gelsenkirchen; an aircraft component parts factory at Halberstadt; weapons manufacturers at Solingen; steel works at Magdeburg; and ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt. The Group made a damaging raid on aircraft factories in central Germany on 11 January 1944 and received a Distinguished Unit Citation for the action.
The 384th took part in the campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944. Received another DUC for the mission of 24 April 1944 when the group, although crippled by heavy losses of men and planes, led the 41st Bomb Wing through almost overwhelming opposition to attack an aircraft factory and airfield at Oberpfaffenhofen. The group also bombed ports, communications centers, oil facilities, and cities, attacking such targets as oil storage plants in Leipzig and Berlin, ports at Hamburg and Emden, and marshalling yards at Duren and Mannheim.
At times the Group flew interdictory and support missions. Attacked installations along the coast of Normandy prior to and during the invasion in June 1944 and then bombed airfields and communications beyond the beachhead. Supported ground troops during the breakthrough at Saint-Lô, 24–25 July, by bombing enemy strong points just beyond Allied lines. Hit tank and gun concentrations north of Eindhoven to assist the airborne assault on Holland in September. Struck enemy communications and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. Aided the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945 by attacking marshalling yards, railway junctions, and bridges to cut off enemy supplies.
Scheduled for occupational air forces and moved to Istres, France in June 1945 to participate in Green Project—which was to move troops to staging areas. Also moved displaced persons and Greek military. In 1946 the remaining aircraft and personnel were absorbed into the 306th Bomb Group and the unit was inactivated at Istres on 28 February 1946.
Briefly was activated as an Air Force Reserve B-29 Superfortress unit, 1947–1949
544th Bomb Squadron (of the 384th Bomb Group Heavy - B-17's
1943 | europe
544th Bombardment Squadron;
Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadron; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO), assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England, Flew combat missions over Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe until the German capitulation in May 1945.
Reassigned to Air Transport Command and used B-17s as transports for demobilized personnel. Flew transport routes to French Morocco and Azores; returning to Istes France. Squadron inactivated in France during February 1946.
Activated as a B-29 Superfortress squadron in the reserves, 1947. Not manned or equipped, inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.
Reactivated in August 1955 as a Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojet squadron which were designed to carry nuclear weapons and to penetrate Soviet air defenses with its high operational ceiling and near supersonic speed. The squadron flew the B-47 for about a decade when by the mid-1960s it had become obsolescent and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. Inactivated with the phaseout of the B-47; sending aircraft to storage at Davis-Monthan in the late summer of 1964 and the squadron was inactivated.
- Constituted 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 25 November 1942
Activated on 1 December 1942 Inactivated on 28 February 1946
- Redesignated 544th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 9 July 1947
Activated in the reserve on 16 July 1947 Inactivated on 27 June 1949
- Redesignated 544th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 3 June 1955
Activated on 1 August 1955 Discontinued, and inactivated on 1 September 1964 Assignments
- 384th Bombardment Group, 1 December 1942-28 February 1946
- Gowen Field, Idaho, 1 December 1942
- Wendover Field, Utah, 2 January 1943
- Sioux City Army Air Base, Iowa, 5 April-10 May 1943
- RAF Grafton Underwood (AAF-106), England, 4 June 1943
- Istres Air Base, France, 1 July 1945-28 February 1946
- B-17 Flying Fortress, 1942–1946
Clarence CHRIS Christman / Cousin; Greg Hubbard
2011 | Kansas
23 June, 2011; Hello Barbi,
(Barbi Ennis Connolly, WWII Historical Researcher)
Clarence R "CHRIS" Christman; From Greg Hubbard about his COUSIN.
According to the obituary, Clarence was my Father's, Mother's, newphew. Bertie Christman was my grandmother's (Lulu Maude Christman Hubbard) brother. Clarence was Bertie's son.My name is Gregory Hubbard. I will first explain that the older I get (now 46), the more interest I have in history and family history. The thing that holds me back from doing a genealogy research project is time (and money). I have 3 children which of course take a lot of time to raise. I actually ran across the info. on Lt. Clarence Christman by "accident". I of course knew we were related to the Christmans, but had never heard of Clarence until last night. I was looking through some papers to help my mother with some of her personal business in a nursing home, and I ran across what appeared to be a carbon copy of a re-typing of an obituary for "Bertie H. Christman" (son of Jeremiah Christman). Bertie was Clarence Christman's father. I just began reading the obituary and was amazed at the detail in the old obituary information. I got to the part that mentioned Clarence Christman and was intrigued by the information that he was a WWII Bomber Pilot. I went to the internet and thanks to you and others, realized there was a bunch of information about them. The date they had that he was shot down was January 25,1945. There were no bombing missions listed for that date. I kept digging around and located the mission, which was actually July 25, 1943.