Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
29 Apr 1924 2
Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee 2
Death:
23 Dec 1944 2
Sasbach, Germany 2
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Joseph Newton Armstrong
Joseph Newton Armstrong
JOSEPH NEWTON ARMSTRONG was born April 29, 1924 in Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee, and died December 23, 1944 in Achern, Baden, (Baden-W├╝rttemberg) Germany
Sergeant Joe Armstrong
Sergeant Joe Armstrong
Sergeant Joe Armstrong of Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee
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Page 20
The Missing Air Crew Report Number 11590 lists the crew of the Martin Marauder Bomber, B26G-5-MA, with a crash time 1500 h. (3:00 P.M. European Time). Gunner, Pilot, Bombardier, Radio Operator, Photographer, and Co-Pilot.
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Page 3
The Missing Air Crew Report Number 11590
Armstrong, Joe N
Armstrong, Joe N
George Joseph Armstrong, Father Louise Frances Adeline Sadler Armstrong, Mother Joseph Newton Armstrong, son Daisy Mae Turner Sadler, Mother-in-law Eula Edith Grace Sadler, Sister-in-law Elisha Newton Sadler, Brother-in-law
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B-26G Martin Marauder Bomber, Battle # 73, Serial # (43-34238)ERMA CRASH SITE Am Fushsgraben, Sasbach, Germany Approximate Coordinates Longitude: 48.646672880767014 Latitude: 8.070605993270874
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Page 6
B-26 Marauder Bomber.jpg
B-26 Marauder Bomber.jpg

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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Joseph Newton Armstrong 2
Also known as:
Joe 2
Person:
Joe N Armstrong 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
29 Apr 1924 2
Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee 2
Male 2
Birth:
1924 1
Tennessee 1
Death:
23 Dec 1944 2
Sasbach, Germany 2
Cause: WWII, KIA 2
Burial:
Burial Date: 18 Jan 1949 2
Burial Place: Chattanooga Memorial Park, Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee 2
Residence:
Place: Hamilton County, Tennessee 1
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Birth:
Mother: Louise Frances Adeline Sadler 2
Father: George Joseph Armstrong 2
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
17 Jul 1943 1
Army Branch:
No branch assignment 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
34880417 1
Enlistment Place:
Ft Oglethorpe Georgia 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Edit
Religion:
Methodist 2
Race or Ethnicity:
White 2
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0862 1
Film Reel Number: 3.284 1

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Stories

Sergeant Joseph "Joe" Newton Armstrong

Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee

JOSEPH NEWTON ARMSTRONG was born April 29, 1924 in Red Bank, Hamilton County, Tennessee, and died December 23, 1944 in Achern, Baden, (Baden-Württemberg) Germany.

"Joseph Newton Armstrong" (7) a descendant of SADLER Methodist preachers:
{Louise Frances Adeline (6) Sadler m George Joseph Armstrong, Reverend Jasper Newton (5) Sadler m Daisy Mae Turner, Reverend Caelie Newton (4) Sadler m Adaline Blankenship Smith, John Wesley (3)  Sadler m Sarah Gregory, John (2) Sadler m Tiny}, Henry (1) SADLER m Elizabeth "Betsy" Carpenter

1943, July 17th, Joe N. Armstrong, a resident of Hamilton County, Tennessee, enlisted at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia and he was assigned Army Serial Number: 34880417.

In the basement of Red Bank United Methodist Church (3800 Dayton Boulevard) for years has hung a framed sign with names of the church's World War II veterans.  The name plate of Sgt. Joe N. Armstrong is in black, indicating he was killed in battle.  The church seems to have much more knowledge of Sgt. Armstrong. He is remembered by a Sunday school class named after him.

Article from Chattanooga, Tennessee Newspaper in December 1944:

Sgt. Armstrong Now Listed as Killed in Action

Sgt. Joe N. Armstong, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Armstrong of 3510 Redding Road, Red Bank, was killed in action in a medium bomber mission over Germany on Dec. 23, 1944, the War Department notified his parents Thursday.  He had been reported previously as missing on that date.

Sgt. Armstrong was a gunner on a B-26 Marauder bomber.  It was shot down over Achern, Germany, (Achern, Baden, (Baden-Württemberg) Germany) during a mission over Neckarels, Germany.

The youth relinquished an alternate appointment by Representative Estes Kefauver to West Point in order to join the air forces as a private following graduation with high honors at Red Bank high School.  He was faculty representative for the 1943 class exercises and was a member of the National Honor Society.  He was also an instructor in weight-lifting at the Frye Institute.

Sgt. Armstrong held the Good Conduct Medal and the ETO Service Ribbon.

His grandmothers are Mrs. W. B. Williams of Knoxville and Mrs. J. N. Sadler of Chattanooga.

JOSEPH NEWTON ARMSTRONG'S LAST MISSION
written by DeCody Brad Marble on 23 December, 2002.

Fiftyeight years ago:

On 16 December 1944 the Germans launched their great counter offensive, known as the "Battle of the Bulge", against the Allied armies in the west, and made considerable progress during the next week under cover of weather unfavorable for flying. It was not until the weather finally improved enough during the night of 22 December 1944 that the full strength of the Allied power could be used to block General Von Rundstedt's offensive. As a means of doing this, it was imperative that the main enemy lines of communication and supply to the Bulge be severed. This lead to one of the most remarkable events during WW II, the lost of thirty-eight B-26, Martin Marauder Bombers on 23 December 1944, from the attack from German anti-aircraft guns and the German Luftwaffe.

On 23 December, 1944, based at Dijon, France, the 95th Bombardment Squadron and under the 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) AAF, Army Air Corp/Force flew out on Mission number 49, for the target: Neckarelz Railroad Bridge, Germany. When skies cleared on December 23, the 17th struck at Neckargemund road and rail bridges, missing the bridge itself, but severing rail lines to the southeast. The 95th Squadron lost still another B-26 to flax, air ship battle number 73, serial number (43-34238). Mission #49 from takeoff to target to return landing took five hours total. The 17th BG used "battle numbers" on their tails instead of squadron codes as in 9th AF. Planes 50-74 belonged to the 95th Bombardment Squadron.

Excerpt from Combat Diary of Tactical Sergeant Delbert F. Kretschmar, Battle No. 54, which appears at the following website:   http://www.b26.com/html/people/dk/combat_diary.htm

"Mission was a railroad bridge at Neekars, Germany. Cloudy over target and didn't drop. On the way home was jumped by fighters, ME - 109s, 40 fighters. They got one of our ships, Battle No. 73. I saw three chutes come out. We got five fighters. salvoed our bombs. Plenty of flak and was a rough mission."

The B-26 Marauder Bomber, Ship No. 73 was shot down by a German Luftwaffe fighter plane, a Messerschmitt, Me-109. The American Bomber, Airship No. 73 spun down 1 and half kilometer NW of Achern, 20 km SW of Baden-Baden, Germany. The explosion created a crater 5m deep and 12m wide. It is explained by war analysis that number of chutes spotted included the Luftwaffe pilots. There was one survivor of the B-26 Battle No. 73.

The Missing Air Crew Report Number 11590 lists the crew of the Martin Marauder Bomber, B26G-5-MA, with a crash time 1500 h. (3:00 P.M. European Time). Gunner, Pilot, Bombardier, Radio Operator, Photographer, and Co-Pilot.
 
Battle # 73, Serial # (43-34238), Aircraft Name: Erma
G: Armstrong Joe N. Sgt. (Dog Tag, Serial  # 34880417)
P: SPENCE, Lane E, 2/Lt S/N 0-705154
B: STEWARD, John R. 2/Lt  S/N  0-723836
RO: YANKO, Peter J. Sgt  S/N 36145780
E: RENALDI, Joseph A. Cpl   S/N 36750259
Photo GAULT, Johnny C. Sgt.  S/N 06383756
POW: CP WILLIAMS George E. 2/Lt   (Serial # 0-714243)
Co-Pilot, George E. Williams had parachuted and become a prisoner of war.

Spence, Steward, Yanko, Renaldi and Gault have a Group burial
in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery St Louis, MO, USA.
Joe N. Armstrong in Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.

Below is more historical details about B-26 "ERMA", as written about in the German newspaper Achern und Bühler Bote March 8th and March 11th 2003.

Newspaper information provided by Andreas Charvat. "I have made a translation of these German newspaper articles on basis of my faded knowledge of German language":
 
"It was a dry winter day with snowcovered Schwarzwald-hills and not many people around. The weather was ideal for attack by enemy bombers. An American B-26 bomber was shot down over Sasbach about 1:00 PM, and the plane exploded in an area that today is the Industry Park "Sasbach-West". The memory of this crash became alive again in December 2002, as digging work revealed the front wheel strut and wheel hub of the twin engine bomber.
 
Erwin Fisher, who has done the research about this incident, established cooperation with the local aviation historian Andreas Charvat from Rastatt, and they managed to describe the crash and fate of the crew in greatest detail. The bombers was on their way back to Dijon after the attack on the railroad bridge at Neckarelz, and were heading west over "die Hornisgrinde". The planes gave reflections from the winter sun, and one could see the airplanes through the contrails. Then the air raid siren sounded, and the people of Sasbach sought cover in the bomb shelters in the local mines and their own cellars. German fighters chased the American bomber unit and attacked the bombers.
 
One bomber was hit, and dived to the right and spiralled to earth. It looked like it would crash in the center of the city of Sasbach, but in the last moment the bomber flew over Sasbach and crashed west of the railway-track on a farm field. A farmer from Sasbach worked near by the crashsite, and survived the explosion of the plane. He was badly hurt by flying parts from the plane. Just after the explosion eye-witnesses of the air combat and crash came rushing to the crashsite, and found the dead crew members. Copilot Williams bailed out and survived. He was blown towards the southwest and , and landed in the fields around Fautenbach. German soldiers sought for him without result. He was found by a Polish POW named Jan Pyzik, who worked in a workshop in Fautenbach. Pozik handed him over to the police in Achern, and Williams was sent to the hospital in Achern and became later a POW.
 
Jan Pyzik was described as a good worker. He lost his life January 7 1945 in an explosion accident. The six crewmembers of the B-26 was buried in Achern, and later exhumed by an american commision May 21 1946. The bodies were transferred to Bad Liebenzell and later to St. Avold in Lothringen, and are now buried in USA."
 
The story of August Serr, who was the farmer who survived the explosion of the plane, tells this story through his grandson Roland Serr. He had heard this story from his father Willy, who was nine years old in 1944.
 
"The farmer August Serr was 42 years old in 1944. He was working in the fields this winter day with his cow spanned ahead of his wagon.

A German fighter had the american B-26's in sight, and attacked them with high speed. One B-26 which was hit fell to the ground.  Roland's grandfather August was near by, and walked up to the wreck of the bomber, as it suddenly exploded. The explosion threw up vast amounts of earth which completely buried August Serr. He was badly hurt, and punctured his eardrums.The crater from the explosion could be filled by a small house. The cow fled in panick with the wagon and returned to the stable, but had later to be slaughtered  due to its injuries. August Serr managed to run back to Sasbach in spite of his injuries."

LIST OF SOURCES OF INFORMATION


Researchers:
Andreas Charvat of Rastatt, Germany and Alf Egil Johannessen of Sandefjord, Norway

MACR, Missing Air Crew Report # 11590
17th Bomb Group Newsletter (pg. 27)
Official Mission Report signed by John P. Martinson, Captain, Air Corps, Operations Officer, Dated: 1 April 1945.
The Official mission Report appears at web page:  http://www.b26.com/html/people/dk/combat_missions.htm
Combat Diary of Tactical Sergeant Delbert F. Kretschmar

Archival Research Catalog (ARC) is the online catalog of NARA's nationwide holdings in the Washington, DC area, Regional Archives and Presidential Libraries.
World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from :
Hamilton County, Tennessee, Armstrong, Joe N. 348 80 417

Serial # 34880417
Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946, (Enlistment Records)
Series from Record Group 64: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Access to Archival Databases (AAD)
http://aad.archives.gov/
http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=1&cat=GP23&tf=F&q=34880417&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=5255386

OBITUARY

Hamilton County, Tennessee
Armstrong, Joe N., Date: Jan. 16 1949, Newspaper: Times

ARMSTRONG'S BODY TO ARRIVE TUESDAY
Red Bank Man Was Killed on "Bombing Mission - Funeral Wednesday Afternoon

The body of Sgt., Joe N. Armstrong, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Armstrong of 3510 Redding Road, will arrive in Chattanooga at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
After graduating from the Red Bank High School with highest honors, Sgt. Armstrong entered the service Aug. 5, 1943. He went overseas in 1944 and was killed on Dec. 23 while serving as a gunner on a B-26, which was shot down on a bombing mission over Germany. 
Before entering the service he was a member of the Red Bank Methodist Church, where he was a member of the church choir and a leader among the young people.
Besides his parents, he is survived by grandmothers, Mrs. J.N. Sadler of Chattanooga, and Mrs Minnie Williams of Knoxville; aunts, Mrs. Donna Roberts, Lebanon, Ky, and Mrs. Grace Cofer, Chattanooga; uncle, Elisha N. Sadler, Chattanooga.
Funeral services, conducted by Dr. O. R. Tarwater, will be held at 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon from the chapel of the National Funeral Home. Burial will be in Chattanooga Memorial Park, with military honors given by the Summers-Whitehead Post 14, American Legion.
Active pallbearers will be Wayne Morrris, Finley Robbins, Joe Rogers, Kenneth Mathis, Robert Hitt, Jackie Hudgins, Ed Lansford, Amos Burroughs; honorary pallbearers, Lester Smith, D. R. Mahan, Don Vandergriff, Harold Hogue, Fred Lansford, Lewis Freeman, John Hutchinson, Gene Hitt, Bill Miles, Joe Ware, Gerorge Cole, Bobby Ledford.

http://www.lib.chattanooga.gov/localHist/obitnote.html

BURIAL SITE

Section D Memorial Circle
Longitude 35.094ºN Latitude 85.302ºW
Chattanooga Memorial Park (formerly known as White Oak Cemetery)
501 Memorial Drive, (Red Bank District), Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee 37405-6527

B-26 Martin Marauder Bomber, Battle # 73, Serial # (43-34238), Aircraft Name: Erma

ERMA CRASH SITE COORDINATES

Am Fushsgraben, Sasbach, Germany
Approximate Coordinates
Longitude: 48.646672880767014
Latitude:  8.070605993270874

Coordinate: Degrees / Minutes / Seconds
Longitude:       48 / 38 / 48.0222
Latitude:           8 / 4 /  14.181

ONLINE TRIBUTES AND MEMORIALS

http://trees.ancestry.com/view/military.aspx?tid=4931072&pid=-1521609434&gss=seotrees
http://www.footnote.com/page/88436817_joe_n_armstrong/
http://www.wwiimemorial.com/registry/search/pframe.asp?HonoreeID=1401560&popcount=8&tcount=10
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12091950
http://www.b26.com/marauderman/joseph_armstrong.htm

This document created by cousin, DeCody Brad Marble

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