Last Known Activity
Dean Harvey was born, according to sources, in New York state on November 23, 1923, a son of Frederick Holman and Dorothy Mae Harvey. The US Census 1930 shows the family in Washington, D.C. but the US Census 1940 shows Dean living with his aunt. This is supposedly because his parents separated while he was young, and his mother had illness problems.
He attended Webster High School in D.C., and the 1941 yearbook has a photo of him performing in the senior class play. He enrolled in the University of Illinois as a member of the Class of 1945, but dropped out in his sophomore year to join the military.
After enlisting, he was chosen for flight duty and was sent to Greenville, Mississippi for basic flying training. He was commissioned and awarded wings upon completion of this course. He was then assigned to the B-17 crew headed by Lt. Barrat and deployed to England in 1944.
Harvey flew 19 credited mission with the Barrat crew, all as co-pilot, beginning on December 11, 1944. The target on February 9, 1945 was the synthetic oil plant located at Lutzkendorf, Germany.
As the aircraft turned onto the IP and adjusted for the bomb run, it was struck by another B-17. The aircraft was torn in two pieces, from the waist gunner position back. The tail gunner managed to extricate himself and make a successful parachute landing. He was promptly captured by German civilians and turned over to the authorities, becoming a POW for the rest of the war.
The front half of the aircraft was dropping fast, and seemed to be aimed at the village of Eisenberg. Somehow, the pilot and co-pilot regained enough control to level out, salvo the bomb load into an empty field, saving the town. The aircraft crashed and exploded in the same field.
German records state 8 bodies, two unidentifiable, were recovered from the wreckage and buried in the Eisenberg Cemetery. After the war, these bodies were recovered, identified by Allied forces, and sent to the U.S. for burial. In 1991, rings belonging to the navigator and pilot were found at the crash site. In 1995, the townspeople of Eisenberg erected a monument to this gallant crew who saved their town from destruction.
Lt Harvey was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on June 22, 1949 where he lies in Section 34, Site 4219.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Interment Control Card for National Cemeteries
Lt Dean Harvey was the assigned co-pilot on B-17G # 43-39149, no name, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 12229 details this event. Mission loading lists show the crew to be:
2 Lt Robert J. Barrat p
2 Lt Dean Harvey c-p
F/O Shirl P. Best nav
Sgt William T. Karp tog
Sgt Raymond F. Reiss eng/tt gun
Sgt Matthew Lazarowicz r/o
Sgt Louis N. Linhart btg
Sgt Herbert D. Link wg
Sgt George H. Emerson tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Emerson was the only survivor.
In the crew photo, Harvey is in the back row, 2nd from left.
Service photo source: