Carlson, Arnold R., 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1054-Co-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1942-1943, M 1054, 423rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1943
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Carlson, Arnold R., 2nd Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Lewis County, WA
Last Address
Thurleigh, England

Casualty Date
Feb 16, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Brittany, France
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot I, Row 15, Grave 11

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 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

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Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight School306th Bombardment Group, Heavy423rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1942-1943, M 0273, 306th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, M 1054, 423rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Arnold R. Carlson was born in Lewis City, Washington in 1919, a son of Hans and Jennie C. Anderson Carlson. According to his enlistment record, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet in Los Angeles, California on January 5, 1942. His record also states he had 2 years of college (unnamed), and his civilian occupation was in the "skilled production of bakery goods."

After completing his pilot training, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to further flight training on the B-17 aircraft. He was assigned to a replacement crew which deployed to England. This crew was eventually assigned to the 423rd Bomb Squadron of the 306th Bomb Group.

On February 16, 1943, the Group was scheduled on a bombing raid on the U-Boat pens at St. Naizare, France. Shortly after dropping bombs, the formation was attacked by a large number of German fighters. Several made head-on attacks, and killed Carlson's pilot. Carlson attempted to take control, but could not gain access to the pilot's seat. Another attack wounded the radio operator and killed three gunners. The fourth gunner bailed out but did not live through the descent.

An internal explosion blew off the nose of the aircraft, and the bombardier was forcibly ejected. The aircraft went into a spin and crashed near the village of La Ville de Dan, France. Two of the crew successfully bailed out and evaded. The wounded radio operator was captured. All other crew members were killed.

Carlson's body was recovered and was eventually buried in the Brittany American Cememetery at St. James, France. He lies in Plot I, Row 15, Grave 11.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
USAAC Accident Reports


Lt Carlson was co-pilot on B-17F # 42-5717, assigned to 423rd Bomb Squadron. The aircraft had no name nor nose art.

Missing Air Crew Report 15472 identifies the crew as:

Capt William H. Warner     p
2 Lt Arnold R. Carlson    c-p
1 Lt Lewis H. Utley     nav
1 Lt Robert E. Kylius    bomb
TSgt Clairborne W. Wilson     eng/tt gun
TSgt Edward F. Espitallier     r/o
SSgt Robert D. Kisling    btg
Sgt Walter C. Morgan     wg
Sgt Colon E. Neeley     wg
SSgt William E. Williams    tail gun

Lt Kylius and TSgt Wilson evaded and were returned to their unit.
TSgt Espitallier was captured and remained a POW until liberated in 1945.

All the dead crew members were buried at Brittany American Cemetery in St. James, France, except for Sgts Morgan and Neeley who are buried in a common grave at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

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