25 March 1945 — Malmo, Sweden
st Lieutenant Frederick W. Tod served with the 713th Bomb Squadron, 448th Bomb Group and was KIA March 25, 1945 aboard B-24J, #44-10517, "Eager One"
While on a bombing mission to Buchen, Germany, 1st LT Tod's aircraft was severely damaged by 4 ME-262 jet aircraft. Unable to return to England due to the extensive damage, Tod attempted to fly his aircraft to neutral Sweden on three engines. Within a mile of the Swedish coast another engine failed and the remaining two began to run wild. Rather than fly overland with the possibility of the aircraft hitting a populated area, Tod maneuvered the aircraft along the coast, holding the plane in the air while his crew bailed out. Unable to stay in the air any longer, the B-24 spun into the sea off Falsterbo.
His Silver Star citation reads:
For gallantry in action on 25 March 1945, while flying as a pilot of a B-24 bomber on a mission over Germany. When his aircraft sustained severe damage from intense enemy antiaircraft fire, forcing him to withdraw from formation, Lieutenant Tod set his course for allied territory. Ordering his crew to bail out over a heavily populated area, Lieutenant Tod, with complete knowledge of the consequences, then headed his plane back to sea where he was unable to bail out due to the low altitude at which he was flying. His self sacrifice and devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.
Tod was initially reported as missing in action, until his remains washed up on shore 51 days later. He was initially buried with full military honors in Malmo, Sweden. His remains were later permanently interred in Luxembourg American Cemetery in Hamm. Luxembourg.