Last Known Activity
Norman Asbornsen was residing in Hudson County, New Jersey when he entered the military service. No NARA enlistment record has been located. He received basic training and then flexible aerial gunnery training. Upon completion of this course, he was assigned to a combat crew of the 100th Bomb Group and deployed to England with the unit in May 1943.
On June 25, 1943, Asbornsen was scheduled to take part in a bomb raid at Bremen, Germany. The formation was unescorted, and was soon heavily engaged by German fighters. A burst of machine gun fire evidently damaged the plane and wounded the pilot. The bail out signal was given but before the crew could respond, the aircraft exploded.
There was only one survivor, who was picked up by a German rescue boat. Neither the survivor nor the German crew saw any parachutes. The wreckage fell approximately 30 km north of Langeoog, Germany.
German records state the B-17 was shot down by Feldwebel Edgar Dorre, flying a BF-109 from JG 29/9.
SSgt Asbornsen is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the American War Cemetery at Margraten, Holland.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
USAAF Accident Reports
The aircraft involved in this incident was B-17F # 42-3260, nicknamed "Angel's Tit," assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron. No photo of the aircraft, containing nose art, has been found.
Missing Air Crew Report 271 applies, and states the crew consisted of:
1 Lt Alonzo P. Adams p
F/O George Z. Krech c-p
2 Lt Nicholas Demchak nav
2 Lt Jessie G. Gurley bomb
TSgt John K. Sullivan eng/tt gun
TSgt James D. Percell r/o
SSgt John C. Kruzich btg
SSgt Edmonde J. Walker lwg
SSgt Norman Asbornsen rwg
SSgt Bryant Hutchinson tail gun
Lt. Demchak was the only survivor, and was taken as a prisoner. All other crew members were killed and are remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the American War Cemetery at Margraten, Holland. Evidently some bodies were later recovered, as known burial sites in addition to posting to the Tablets of the Missing are noted.
In the crew photo, SSgt Asbornsen is front, right. This is not "Angel's Tit," but a training aircraft in Wendover, Utah in1943 prior to deployment.
Service photo source: