Last Known Activity
Andrew Paul Barrus was born on May 26, 1910 in Grantsville, Utah. His father was Ruel Monte Barrus. According to his NARA enlistment record, Andrew enlisted at Salt Lake City, Utah on April 4, 1942 as a private in the Air Corps. He had completed 3 years of high school at Grantsville High School, was single, and had worked as a plasterer.
He completed basic training and qualified for flight duty. He was assigned to aerial gunnery school. When this course of instruction was completed, he was sent to an operational training unit for advance aerial gunnery, familiarization with the B-17, and for combat crew assignment. This training took him to Salt Lake, City, Utah; Ephrata, Washington; Spokane, Washington; and Pendleton, Washington.
The crew deployed overseas, arriving in England on November 24, 1943. It was assigned to the 367th Bomb Squadron of the 306th Bomb Group, operating from a field near Thurleigh, England.
The crew flew two combat missions. On January 11, 1944, it was selected to fly a bombing raid against the Junkers aircraft factory in Halberstadt, Germany as its third mission.
As the bomber formation approached Holland, enemy aircraft attacked. To avoid an engagement, one of the bombers swerved from position, striking the B-17 of Barrus, and tearing off some wing structure. The pilot lost control, and signalled "bail out," but regained control and rescinded the order.
The aircraft was then attacked by three waves of BF-109 German fighters that shot it down. The aircraft crashed near Epe, Holland. Nine of the crew were killed either in the attack or in the crash. Only one man survived.
The remains of the crew were buried in a local cemetery. As the Allies took control of the area, they were moved to the American Cemetery at Margraten, Holland. After the war, most were returned to the U.S. for burial. Sgt Barrus now lies in Grantsville Cemetery in Grantsville, Utah.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
NARA Enlistment Records
The Ogden-Standard (Utah) newspaper, issue March 29, 1944 p 5
Sgt Andrew P. Barrus was serving as tail gunner on B-17G # 42-31451, nicknamed "BIOYA," assigned to the 367th Bomb Squadron. Group records state the name was an abbreviation of "Blow It Out Your Ass."
Missing Air Crew Report 1934 was issued, and identifies the crew as:
2 Lt Ross A. McCollum p
2 Lt Marcum E. Thomas c-p
2 Lt Daniel P. Jones nav
2 Lt Lloyd G. Crabtree bomb
SSgt Warren A. Warner eng/tt gun
SSgt Henry A. Stelmach r/o
Sgt Howard L. Chatelaine btg
Sgt Warren B. Goss lwg
Sgt Leander J. Aurie rwg
Sgt Andrew P. Barrus tail gun
Lt Crabtree was the only survivor.
Service photo source"