Austin, Elmore Lathrop, Sgt

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 0611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
USAAF
Primary Unit
1944-1944, POW Germany
Service Years
1943 - 1944
Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

43 kb

Home State
Vermont
Vermont
Year of Birth
1925
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Austin, Elmore Lathrop, Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Edinburg Falls, Vermont
Last Address
RAF North Pickenham (USAAF 143), Norfolk, England

Casualty Date
Aug 26, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Intentional Homicide
Location
Germany
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Maple Grove Cemetery - Bakersfield, Vermont
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




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


 Ribbon Bar


Aerial Gunner Badge


 
 Unit Assignments
854th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy491st Bombardment Group, Heavy POW Germany
  1944-1944, 854th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, 491st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, POW Germany
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  
  1944-1944, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On Aug 24, 1944, B-24 "Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma'am" of the 854th Bomb Sq., 491st Bomb Gp. was shot down over Germany on their 1st combat mission. All 9 crew members parachuted safely to the ground even though 1 had been wounded in the stomach and another injured his ankle upon landing. They were soon captured, beaten somewhat, interrogated, and locked up in Greven near where they had landed. The wounded man was sent to a hospital and the other 8 were put on a train to take them to the Dulag interrogation center. They had to stop in Rüsselsheim because the tracks ahead had been damaged by allied bombing. On the morning of Aug 26, while being marched through Rüsselsheim to catch a train on the other side of town, they were viciously attacked and brutally beaten by a mob of townfolk who were furious that their city had been severely bombed by the RAF during the night. One local Nazi leader even shot some of them. They were assumed to be dead and were put in a cart and taken to the cemetery for burial. One German was giving them the coup de grace with a 2-by-4 when he was interrupted by an air raid alarm, which allowed 2 of the crew to survive and escape. However, they were recaptured several days later and sent to a POW camp and survived the war.
After the war, 13 Germans w
ere tried for these murders. All but 1 were found guilty and 9 were sentenced to hang, 3 to prison terms. However, the 2 sisters who were the main instigators of the attack had their death sentences commuted and served 8 years in prison. One condemned man was released on a technicality. The lead prosecutor in the case was Leon Jaworski, who later gained fame as the special prosecutor in the Watergate case.
Elmore Austin was 1 of the 6 crewmen who were killed.
He was the waist gunner on his crew.
   
Comments/Citation
Sources:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31064993
Book: "The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys, by Gregory A. Freeman, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
 
   
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