Reiss, Raymond F., Sgt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 748-Airplane Mechanic-Gunner, Flight Engineer
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 748, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Reiss, Raymond F., 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
Los Angeles
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Feb 09, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 82, Site 93D

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar

Flight Engineer Badge
Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 748, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 748, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Raymond F. Reiss as born in Manhattan, New York in 1918, according to sources. The US Census 1920 and the US Census 1930 show the family in Manhattan. His parents were Frederick and Margaret A. Reiss. The US Census 1940 has Reiss living in Richmond, New York and employed as an assistant gardener.

He was inducted into the service in late 1943. He had completed 3 years of high school. He was trained as a flight engineer and an aerial gunner. He was assigned to the combat crew headed by Lt Robert J. Barrat in November, 1944. Reiss flew 19 mission with this crew, beginning December 9, 1944.

On February 9, 1945, the designated target was the synthetic oil plant at Lutzkendorf, Germany. As the aircraft turned onto the bomb run at the IP, it was struck by another B-17 and sliced in half. The tail assembly, from the waist gun positions to the end, was flung one way while the rest of the aircraft began dropping. Somehow, the tail gunner managed to get out and make a successful parachute landing, although he was captured by German civilians and was turned over to authorities.

As the front half of the bomber came down, it was apparent it would hit in the middle of a small village, Eisenberg. The pilot and co-pilot managed to level the part of aircraft and guide it beyond the town to an empty field. They salvoed the bombs into the field and prevented the loss of civilian lives. The aircraft then hit the ground and exploded.

German records reveal that eight bodies were recovered from the crash site, two of which were unidentifiable. All were buried n a local cemetery.

After the war's end, these bodies were recovered, identified by more recent means, and returned to the U.S. for burial. Six of the crew, including Reiss, were buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri on January 19, 1950 in Section 82, Site 93D.

NOTE: Although all other records reflect Reiss' rank as "Sergeant," the tombstone reads "Aviation Cadet."

NOTE: In 1991, rings belonging to the pilot and navigator were recovered from the crash site. In 1995, the townspeople of Eisenberg erected a monument honoring this gallant crew that ,in fact, saved their town.

NOTE: One source ( Eisenberg-Germany-m133808.aspx) narrative states the commemoration took place in Eisenberg on October 13, 2007on the 81st birthday of Raymond F. Reiss. This in conflict with his reported birthdate in 1918. More research to follow. crews
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
US Census 1940


Sgt (Aviation Cadet?) Raymond F. Reiss was the assigned flight engineer and top turret gunner 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 as:

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, Reiss is in the front row, 3rd from left.

Service photo source:

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