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Capt Donald Oliver, 310thBG, 380th BS, B-25 KIA 4 Apr.'45
4 April, 1945 | Italy
Lt Donald Oliver was KIA as he held his stricken B-25 "BETTSIE" after it crashed into another B-25 in his formation just after the Bomb Drop in Austria, and was able to keep control long enough for some of his crew to get out (Mia/POW's).
On 04 April 1945, during a Bombing Mission, Aircraft B-25J; 43-27552, Nicknamed "Pretzel", collided with the leading Aircraft, B-25J; 43-27737, Nicknamed, "Bettsie", of the second box, while forming #getting back into formation#, after break away from the target, of the Drauburg Railroad Bridge, Austria. Lt. Miller's plane's Left Wing was torn away, and his aircraft went into a steep dive, crashing into the ground, #in Italy# and killing all 6 crew members. Lt. Oliver's plane was badly damaged, but he maintained control of it long enough for some of his crew to bail out, before it too crashed to the ground. Lt. Oliver; his Bombardier, Lt. Syfert; and his Turret Gunner, S/Sgt. Shelton; were Killed In Action. The four surviving crew members were captured by the Germans, and held as Prisoners of War. .
310thBG--380thBS--04 April 1945--MACR 13685
A/C: B-25J; 43-27737; Nicknamed "Bettsie"
P: Donald E. Oliver, 1Lt.--KIA
CP: Raleigh R. Palmer, 2Lt--POW; RTD
N: Stephen F. Speidel, F/O--POW; RTD
B: Thaine A. Syfert, 1Lt--KIA
R: Walter E. Luckenbill, S/Sgt--POW; RTD
Turret G: Grady M. Shelton, S/Sgt--KIA
Tail G: Robert A. Adams, S/Sgt--POW; RTD