Eschinger, Edward G., SSgt

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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1035-Bombardier
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Officer)
Primary Unit
1945-1945, AAF MOS 1035, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Eschinger, Edward G., SSgt.

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
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Apr 17, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Intentional Homicide
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Ardennes, Belgium
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot C, Row 23, Grave 10

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Bombardier 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)
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 1035, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 1035, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1945-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Melvin Gilbert Eschinger was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 7, 1920 to Edward L. and Elva E. Eschinger. The US Census 1930 shows the family still in Philadelphia.

Eschinger was inducted into military service on October 11, 1943 in Philadelphia. He was trained as a togglier, and shipped overseas, arriving in England in February, 1945. He was assigned to the crew headed by Lt Thomas, flying all 21 credited missions with this crew.

On April 17, 1945, the crew took part in a raid on the Friedrichstadt, Germany marshalling yards. The aircraft was hit by flak north of Brux, Czechoslovakia. The #2 engine began smoking, and was feathered. On the third bomb run, all bombs were released. The aircraft then suddenly slipped to the left and exploded, At least 6 parachutes were observed. The wreckage fell near Dresden.

All crew members reached the ground safely, but Eschinger was captured by angry civilians. Air Defense Guard Helmut Orb shot him in the back, killing him. No one was ever prosecuted for this murder. Another crew member (Carlson) was also killed; the others went to POW camps.

Eschinger was moved after the war to the American (Ardennes) Cemetery in Belgium where he lies in Plot C, Row 23, Grave 10.

The entire $500 WWII Death Bonus was requested, and paid, in 1951 by his wife Stella Chaison who signed as "Remarried widow." crews
US Census 1930
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record card
PA Veteran's Compensation Files, 1951-1959
PA Church and City Records, 1908-1986 (Baptism)


SSgt Edward G. Eschinger was assigned as the togglier (enlisted bombardier) on B-17G #42-102504, named "Sack Time," assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 14168 was issued to detail this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:

2 Lt Blaine E. Thomas  p
2 Lt Max R. Batholomew  c-p
F/O Joseph Bonanno  nav
Sgt Edward G. Eschinger  tog
Sgt Harry W. Haynes  eng/tt gun
Sgt Walter E. Smith  r/o
Sgt Luis L. Contreras  btg
Sgt Melvin C. Carlson  tail gun

No waist gunner assigned.

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

In the crew photo, Eschinger is in the back row, 4th from left.

Service photo source:

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