Bare, Robert Franklin, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 563rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1945
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael Novak-Family to remember Bare, Robert Franklin, 2nd Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Knettishall Air Station, England

Casualty Date
Apr 07, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Fort McPherson National Cemetery - Maxwell, Nebraska
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot R O 94

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
388th Bombardment Group, Heavy563rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 1024, 388th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 563rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Robert Franklin Bare was born in Yoakum, Texas on August 2, 1922. He enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps at Houston on September 19, 1942.

After training, he was assigned to the 563rd Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group, stationed at Knettishall Air Station, England. He was fully qualified as a pilot in B-17 aircraft, and was assigned a crew.

The crew flew two missions, one on April 6, 1945, the other on April 7, 1945. This mission was a scheduled bombing run on the city of Kaltenkirchen, Germany and war-related industries. The 388th Bomb Group put up 38 aircraft for the raid.

After releasing bombs on the target, the formation began the return trip to England. Over the town of Luneburg, the bomber stream was engaged by enemy aircraft of the Sonderkommando Elbe. This was a unit formed to implement a new tactic by which to slow down USAAF raids in order to create more time to bring ME-262 jet fighters into use.

The tactic was simple - ram the U.S. bombers. Favorite places to ram included tail assembly, engine nacelles and wing roots, and the cockpit area. Aircraft were usually BF-109 fighters, stripped of armor and armament.

On this mission, two of the B-17s were rammed. The one piloted by Lt. Bare evidently exploded, killing all the crew members. The other aircraft rammed was B-17 #42-97105 which evidently survived because records show it was salvaged on June 21, 1947.

Luftwaffe records indicate OberFeldwebel Werner Linden was successful in an attack on a bomber from the 388th Bomb Group on this date, and was killed in the incident.



The aircraft piloted by Lt. Bare was B-17G #43-38869, nicknamed "Paula Sue," from the 388th Bomb Group. This was the second mission for Lt. Bare's crew, but the aircraft had flown 47 missions prior to this one.

According to loading lists and 388th personnel rosters, the crew consisted of:

2 Lt Robert F. Bare      p
2 Lt James D. Westbrook    c-p
1 Lt Robert L. Sonnenberg    nav
Cpl George Shantz, Jr      togglier (bomb)
Sgt Vernon F. Hoffman      r/o
Sgt Samuel P. Ulmstead     eng
Cpl David S. Becker      rwg
Sgt Jesse B. Rorie, Jr.    tail gun
Sgt Ledrew R. Strable     btg
     R. C. Pederson        MICK

Missing Air Crew Report 13723 is applicable.

Information from other accounts indicate the MICK position was used to denote radar observer.

Service photo source:

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