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Mission to Moosierbaum oil refinery
7 February 1945 | Ptuj, Slovenia
The 376th Bomb Group, 514th Bomb Squadron of the Fifteenth Air Force was based at Sam Pancrazio, Italy which was located near Taranto Bay in the southern part of the Italian boot. The bomb group had moved to San Bancrazio from northern Africa in November 1943.
Captain Wilbur C. Wood was the pilot of Liberator B-24J, serial number 44-48964 when it took off 7 February 1945 on a high altitude bombing mission to the Moosbierbaum oil refinery in Austria. The aircraft, whose nose number was 72-M, was hit by flak just after bombs away and leaving the target. Wood called over the radio and reported that he had two engines shot out and was dropping behind. Approximately 10 minutes later, he called again and said that he was having trouble and would have his crew bail out. After hearing the bail out order, all crewmen left the aircraft before the Liberator crashed near the community of Kirchberg in Pettau County, Slovenia. All were captured by German soldiers except RCM operator Tech Sgt. James O. Neifert, Jr. who was killed and buried in a local cemetery. Missing Air Crew Report 12114 was filed when the crew failed to return to base.
Douglas Campbell Dunlap
Staff Sgt. Douglas Campbell Dunlap (14132306) was a gunner. He was born on 12 July 1924 in Washington, DC, the son of Hobart D. and Elizabeth (Wiley) Dunlap. He grew up in Sequoyah Hills. After graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, Dunlap attended college for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps on 12 November 1942 at Fort Oglethorpe, GA. After his capture, he was sent to Stalag Luft III-Nurnberg. On 4 April 1945, the German authorities began the forced march of the POWs to Stalag Luft VIIa-Moosburg. On the first afternoon of the march, there was a bombing and strafing raid on the POW column by American P-47 fighters, who mistook it for an enemy troop movement. During the confusion of the raid, Dunlap was able to escape and succeeded in evading capture for more than two and a half weeks. He was eventually picked up by advancing Allied Forces and returned to Allied military control. He was not confined to the prison camp at Moosburg. He returned to the United States in May 1945 and attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, the men's swim team and men's cotillion before he graduated. He later operated Campus Records on Cumberland Avenue. From 1992 until his death he resided in Corbin, KY. He was president and owner of Interstate Tax and Bookkeeping.
After a brief illness, Dunlap died on 8 March 2011 in Corbin, KY. He was 87. He was buried in the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville, TN.
James Floyd Meyers
Staff Sgt. James Floyd Meyers (36462165) was a gunner. He was born on 19 April 1918 in Chicago, IL, the son of Joseph and Mary Catherine (Storin) Meyers. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds received while being shot down on 7 February 1945. He worked for Solo Cup Company in Illinois before retiring in 1984 and moving to Mountain Home, AR. Meyers died on 4 January 2006 in Mountain Home, AR and was buried in Section H, site 140 of the Rock Island Cemetery, Rock Island, IL. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Ozark Post 3246.
Staff Sgt. Morris (nmn) Miller (18191178) was a gunner. He was born on 25 May 1917 on a ranch in Crockett County, Texas. Hie parents were William and Callie Miller. After high school, he attended college for two years but on 4 November 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Houston, TX. He later married Elsie R. Miller. Miller died on 30 June 1988 in Houston, TX.