Austin, Elmore Lathrop, Sgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1944, POW Germany
Service Years
1943 - 1944
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

43 kb

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

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Edinburg Falls, Vermont
Last Address
RAF North Pickenham (USAAF 143), Norfolk, England

Casualty Date
Aug 26, 1944
Hostile, Died
Intentional Homicide
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/ Advancement Schools
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.
Book: "The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys, by Gregory A. Freeman, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Copyright Inc 2003-2011