Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1924 1
Indiana 1
Death:
09 Nov 1944 2
Germany 2
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Personal Details

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Person:
2nd Lt. Robert Milton Needler 3
Robert M Needler 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
1924 1
Indiana 1
Death:
09 Nov 1944 2
Germany 2
Residence:
Place: Blackford County, Indiana 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
10 May 1943 1
Army Branch:
No branch assignment 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
35143670 1
Enlistment Place:
Indianapolis Indiana 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
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Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0901 1
Film Reel Number: 3.323 1

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Stories

2nd Lt. Robert Milton Needler was the navigator on a B17 Flying Fortress.  The aircraft was flying on a mission from Chelveston, England toward Hamburg, Germany.  At 1355 hrs on 8 Nov 1944, the plane was apparently hit by flak and crashed at Endorf near Arnsberg, Germany.  The plane caught fire and was 95% destroyed.  All members of the crew were killed except for Arnold A. Armstrong, Engineer and James R. Massie, the radio operator, who was taken prisoner and put in Stalag Luft 1 in Barth Germany in Nov. 1944 for about 6 months. Members of the crew who were killed were buried in the Communal Cemetery in Endorf, Germany.  The two men who survived the crash were sent to Mariaannen Hospital in Werl.  The fate of Arnold Armstrong is unknown after being sent to the hospital.  James R. Massie provided the first hand account of the crash for the Missing Aircrew Report and was in 364 Bomb Sq, 305 Bomb Group. Members of Crew G37 were:  Lt Tommy M Thompson, Pilot, Lt Fred McGarrity, copilot, Lt Robert Needler, Navigator, Sgt. Arnold Armstrong, Engineer and James R. Massie was the radio operator. Lt. Needler was found outside the plane after the crash.  

The guys in the barracks with Jame Massie kept a book with names of people with them.  The names in the book are Dale Allen, Robert Bacchs, Charles Coogler, Earle Cochrane, Pat Caulfield, Earl Davis, Carl Eaton, John Manicki, Ken Minette, John Modrovsky, Elvis McCoy, William McLaughlin, Charles McRenolds, Harold Roney, Leonard Raple, Gilbert Scherer, George Smith Jr., William Vionrich, Robert Willson, Arnold Wilson, Jarvis Williams, Raymond Crewson, Nolan Reech, Henry Schmid, Terrence Messing, Leo Wloczewski, Keith Hereford, Tom Lattimore, Jr., Thomas Horger, Arthur Laffenwell, Hugh McMurrain, W.H. Williams, Maurice Michalek, Sam Jepson, Jack Severson, Grover Fortenberry, Henry Thibodeaux, James G. White, Peter Euggino. No further information is available about these men.

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