Alander, Eino Viljo, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1054-Co-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft
Last AFSC Group
USAAF
Primary Unit
1943-1944, M 1091, 562nd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Foreign Language(s)
Finnish
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home Country
Finland
Finland
Year of Birth
1920
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Alander, Eino Viljo, 2nd Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Tampere, Finland; Indianapolis, Indiana
Last Address
Knettishall Air Field, England

Casualty Date
Mar 06, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Netherlands
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Ardennes, Belgium
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot D Row 3 Grave 38

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 Unit Assignments
388th Bombardment Group, Heavy562nd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
  1943-1943, M 1054, 388th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1944, M 1091, 562nd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Eino Viljo Alander was born around February/March of 1920, in Finland. He came with his family at age 8 months on the S.S. Caronia in December, 1920. Records at Ellis Island show that on October 23, 1924, Eino (age 4 years) accompanied by (presumably) his mother, arrived from Copenhagen, Denmark on the ship Hellig Olar. The address given is Indianapolis, Indiana, where the family settled some 3 years before.

Eino enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana on June 2, 1942 as a private. At this time, he had attended college for one year, and was working as a draftsman.

However, by the end of 1943, he had completed pilot training and arrived to join the 562nd Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group at Knettishall Air Station, England. Although rated as a B-17 pilot, he was assigned to Lt. Clarence A. Gridley's crew, replacing Lt. John Cyphers.

His first mission was flown on December 31, 1943. He continued flying missions with this crew until March 6, 1944, when a mission was scheduled against Berlin.

The trip to the target was relatively uneventful, although flak was heavy over the target. On the return home, the formation was engaged by a number of FW-190 and BF-109 aircraft as it approached the Dutch border. Six of the formation bombers were shot down, Lt. Gridley's being one of them. Four of the aircraft crashed within miles of each other near the town of Schoeningdorf, Germany.

According to some records, seven of the air crew were taken as POWs, and the remaining three were Killed In Action. Other accounts vary.

Lt. Alander is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial located at Neuville-en-Cordroz, (Neupre) Belgium. He lies in Plot D, Row 3, Grave 38.

  

Comments/Citation
Aircraft involved was B-17G #42-31194, "Duchess of Dixie," 562nd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group. Missing Air Crew Report number 3084 applies.

According to 388th Bomb Group records, the crew consisted of:

1 Lt Clarence A. Gridley      p
2 Lt Eino V. Alander       c-p
2 Lt Donald F. Mecum     bomb
TSgt George H. Hockenberry     r/o
TSgt Robert W. Fanning       r/o
Tsgt James H. Parker     eng
SSgt David E. Liebman      btg
SSgt James W. Johnson        lwg
SSgt Bayne F. Tucker         rwg
SSgt Selmer Thompson    tail gun

There are discrepancies in the various reports concerning this aircraft loss.

According to the 562nd Bomb Squadron sortie listing, Fanning is listed as navigator; and Tucker is listed as ball turret gunner.
The MACR and 388th records state Alander, Parker, Liebman, and Tucker were KIA; others POW, disputing other reports that there were 3 KIA, 7 POW.
One account states that 2 crewmen were killed, with one being wounded and dying later of his wounds, leaving the figure of 7 POW intact.

Service photo source:
www.findagrave.com

   
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