Last Known Activity
Oliver Thomas Eisenhart was born in Horseheads, New York on October 22, 1921, a son of Gilbert G. and Emily Cleator Eisenhart. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, as a member of the Class of 1945. While there, he was a member of Gamma Phi Kappa.
He left the school, supposedly in 1943, and enlisted in the US Army Air Forces. Trained to be a pilot, he received wings, a commission, and then orders to deploy to England.
He was assigned to the combat crew headed by Lt Callahan, and flew as co-pilot. He flew 27 missions as co-pilot, then was upgraded to First Pilot and given a crew of his own. The record states he was flying on his last mission as pilot, utilizing the McCullough crew. No reason is given for this manning.
On January 13, 1945, the target area was the railroad bridge located at Mannheim, Germany. While on the bomb run, the aircraft was hit by flak, directly in the tail assembly. The horizontal stabilizer was blown off and the tail fin shredded. The aircraft entered a steep dive, then broke up in mid-air. No parachutes were seen The wreckage crashed near Roxheim, Germany.
German records appended to the MACR state seven bodies were recovered from the rash scene. (One was not from this crew.) An additional entry shows the 3 remaining crew member's names penciled in on the MACR.
After the war, Eisenhart was recovered and moved to the American (Lorraine) Cemetery in France where he lies in Plot A, Row 10, Grave 53. There is also a memorial stone for him in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Horeseheads, New York.
Some aspects of Eisenhart's private life are confusing. There exists a letter in which he requested all personal belongings be sent to his wife, Mrs Louise V. Eisenhart of Horseheads, New York, but his next of kin designation was his grandmother. The Headstone Inscription and Interment Record card was signed by Mora M. Eisenhart.
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record card
Lt Oliver T. Eisenhart was a pilot assigned to fly with the crew of Lt McCullough on B-17G # 43-38689, unnamed and with no nose art, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 11574 covers this incident. Mission loding lists state the crew was:
2 Lt Oliver T. Eisenhart p
2 Lt Henry W. McCullough c-p
2 Lt Maurice R. Herricks nav
F/O Herring Joyce, Jr. bomb
Sgt Samuel M. Hindman eng/tt gun
SSgt Berhard S. Kaufman r/o
Sgt William V. Kimber btg
Sgt Jack THompson, Jr. wg
Sgt Therman F. Conaway tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
In the crew photo, Eisenhart is in the back row, 3rd from left.
Service photo source: