Last Known Activity
Douglas Howard Agee was born on August 27, 1920, in Saltillo, Texas, the son of Carl Scott Agee and Mary Ellen Mitchell Agee. Nothing has been found concerning his early childhood, but with the education system in place in Texas at that time (11 grades only), it is possible he graduated Saltillo High School at the age of 16 or 17.
No enlistment data has been found, except one short biography states he enlisted, took basic training, and then was assigned to aerial gunner's school. The first time he appears in the military record, he is assigned to the 350th Bomb Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group at Kearney AAB, Nebraska, prior to departure from the U.S. to England in November 1942.
This crew flew 10 mission as follows: (all 1943)
3 Sept - target Paris
6 Sept - Stuggart
7 Sept - Watten
9 Sept - Beauvais
15 Sept - Paris
16 Sept - Bodreaux
26 Sept - Paris
27 Sept - Emden
2 Oct - Emden
8 Oct - Bremen
Bremen was a well-defended target, ringed by many anti-aircraft guns. The first element that bombed on the mission met extensive fire. When the second group made their bomb run, the German gunners had range and altitude calculated, and MacDonald's squadron suffered 7 of 9 aircraft shot down over the target. MacDonald's aircraft was hit in 2 engines, set afire, and was under intensive attack by German fighters who flew through their own flak to bring home the attacks. SSgt Agee was shot in the chest with a 20mm round. Trying to nurse the damaged aircraft home, but still under attack and burning, losing altitude by the minute, Lt. MacDonald and the remaining crew bailed out.
They landed safely and 7 were immediately captured. Two contacted the Dutch Underground, and one of them, Glinchey, evaded for 4 months, but was then captured. Spicer evaded and eventually made it safely to Spain and then England. All the captured fliers were taken to Stalag Luft XVIIB - Stalag 17. All were liberated in May 1945.
According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft made a crash landing, gear up but sliding near the Zuider Zee and came to a stop. The fires spread and ammunition began detonating. A maternity nurse visiting a near-by house ran to the scene and after spotting him, managed to drag Agee's body from the plane. A later German medical report states he was "shot through both lungs and bled to death." Witnesses state the Germans secured the scene, but left Agee's body by the road for 2 days "as a deterrent." A newspaper article later stated he had been buried by German soldiers, and that a minister or priest was present.
SSgt Agee was buried on October 10 at the Reformed Church Cemetery at Beetsterwang, Row 21, Grave 26. He was later interred at the American Cemetery at Margraten, The Netherlands. His remains were sent home and today lie in the Old Saltillo Cemetery in Saltillo, Texas.
The aircraft commanded by Lt. MacDonald was B-17F #42-30818 nicknamed "Salvo Sal." (One instance of USAAF records state "Salvo Gal.")
Missing Air Crew Report 952 applies, and states the crew was composed of:
1 Lt William H. McDonald p
2 Lt John L. James, Jr c-p
2 Lt Carl L. Spicer nav
2 Lt Frank P. McGlinchey bomb
SSgt Charles W. Ashbaugh eng/tt gun
TSgt Fred Pribish r/o
SSgt Ross W. Detillion btg
SSgt Douglas H. Agee lwg
SSgt Victor P. Intoccia rwg
SSgt Paul G. Sears tail gun
Credit for the shooting down of this bomber was given to Lt. Franz Ruhl, flying a BF-109G from JG 3/4.
NOTE: In the crew photo, SSgt Agee is third from right, standing.