Last Known Activity
Edward James Stringer was born in Maltby, Washington on July 30, 1923. He was inducted into the Army Air Corps on June 13, 1943 at Fort Lewis, Washington. His NARA enlistment record states he had completed 3 years of high school, and had previously worked as a wire-ways electrician apprentice.
He was sent to Atlantic City, New Jersey for basic training. After that, he attended and graduated from the 26 week radio operators course at Scott AAFB, Illinois. His next assignment was to the aerial gunnery course at Harlingen, Texas. When he graduated from this course, he was promoted to Sergeant, given a 30-day leave, and then reported to MacDill AAFB, Florida for a three-month crew assignment and training phase.
In March 1944, the crew sailed on the Queen Elizabeth for the 4-day trip to Scotland. They then reported to the 388th Bomb Group at Knettishall, England. Further assignment was to the 563rd Bomb Squadron. Their first combat mission was flown on May 1, 1944.
Sgt Stringer flew on 7 completed missions, 3 that were aborted for legitimate reasons, and the 1 on which his aircraft was shot down. All of these missions were flown as part of the Fjelsted crew with one exception. He flew as radio operator with the Prendergast crew on B-17G # 42-97210, "Jamaica Ginger," on 1 mission.
On May 28, he took part in a raid over Germany on the Magdeburg oil fields. His aircraft was hit by flak, and both engines on the right wing were knocked out. Although the pilot dropped in altitude and air speed, he could not keep the aircraft aloft in that condition. He belly-landed the aircraft, and the crew escaped into the woods. However, German troops soon rounded them all up and captured them.
TSgt Stringer was sent to Stalag Luft I and remained there until liberated by Russian troops on May 1, 1945. He returned to the U.S. where, according to family history, he continued his service in the Air Force. Supposedly, he served in Korea and in Vietnam, although no record of this service has been located.
He retired as a MSgt in 1970, and died on March 9, 2005 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He is buried in the Seguin Cemetery located in Maltby, Washington.
profile incomplee - researching unit assignments Korea. Vietnam.
NARA enlistment records
Edward James Stringer was radio operator/gunner on B-17G # 42-39845, nicknamed "Hulcher's Vultures," assigned to the 563rd Bomb Squadron. The aircraft received its name from the first pilot to fly it - Lt Wendell Hulcher.
Missing Air Crew Report 5317 was issued, and identifies the crew as:
2 Lt Marcus A. Fjelsted p
2 Lt William C. Hudson c-p
2 Lt Herbert J. Houlihan nav
2 Lt Chester F. Tracewiski bomb
TSgt John E. McBrien eng/tt gun
TSgt Edward J. Stringer r/o
SSgt George F. Hoover btg
SSgt Harold S. McCarty lwg
SSgt John L. Perry rwg
SSgt John R. Shatz tail gun
Aircraft photos show the aircraft in happier times, and also after the belly-landing crash.