19 August 1943 — Italy
S/Sgt Lamar Rodgers was an Aerial Gunner in the B-25 "Worth Fighting For" during WWII in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations when it was shot down, 19 Aug. 1943 into the water of the Tyrrhenian Sea, just North of the Isle of Capri. Lamar was with the 12th Air Force, the 57th Bomb Wing, the 310th Bomb Group and the 380th Bomb Squadron. The B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber was lost but the CREW were all able to get out and into a dingy.
310thBG,380thBS, S/Sgt Lamar F Rodgers, Aerial Gunner
Pilot- Lt R R Gross,
CP- F/O M D Miller,
Bomb- S/Sgt W F Jastrzemski
R-G - P A Poknis
Aerial Gunner- L F Rodgers
AP- Cpl V Sibaila
Shot-Down "Worth Fighting For" #42-53451 All POW's.
One of the P-38 Fighters stayed for over 4 hours and circled around the dingy, even dropping his canteen (drinking some so it would float) to the Men in the dingy in the water.... this Fighter Pilot F/O Robert "Bobby" Smidt eventually flew away and was never seen nor heard from again. Did Bobby "run out of gas?" It will never be known now, but this was a dedicated and Heroic young man, that he would stay to the last second, in fact, "over-stay" to protect the Men below from any enemy Fighters.
Story from the Fighter Pilot's relative Bob Craft. (2011) PLEASE see the Links under the Map to Pilot R. Smidt's main web-site and that of his Cousin, Bob Craft, who is dedicating his time and energy to remembering our brave men and women who served, he himself served in Vietnam.
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher. Pleas email me with any additional information. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com