Last Known Activity
Dudley A. Federau was supposedly born in Ohio in 1918. His parents were Alfred and Alvina C. Federau. The US Censuses 1930 and 1940 both show the family in Cleveland. Federau attended and graduated from East High School in 1935, the year in which he was class president.
He enlisted in 1942, and was chosen as a pilot trainee. After completing this training, he was commissioned, awarded wings, and transitioned into multi-engine aircraft. He was assigned to a bomber unit operating from a forward base in Italy in 1944.
On March 22, 1944, he was the co-pilot on an aircraft dispatched on a bombing mission to Verona, Italy. The target was the railway marshalling yards. A number of enemy aircraft attacked the formation while it was nearing the target.
Eye-witness accounts vary, as one observer stated the # 3 engine was burning, and fighter attacks continued. Another witness stated later the # 4 engine was afire, the aircraft rolled over, dove, and exploded. Some reported 5 chutes out; others said 6.
Actually, German records state that their troops recovered 4 bodies from the aircraft wreckage, and captured 6 men. The dead were buried near Verona, and retrieved by Allied forces after the war.
The death of Lt Federau also has controversy. According to the navigator's report, Lt Federau was slightly wounded and was in the next room to him at a German hospital. After his wounds were treated, he was taken to a POW camp. Other reports, German as well as Allied, state that Lt Federau died on March 28, being shot while attempting to escape. No verification of this has been located.
Lt Federau today is buried in the Florence American Cemetery in Toscana, Italy in Plot A. Row 7, Grave 18.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Lt Dudley A. Federau was the assigned co-pilot of B-17G # 42-31660, not named, assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 3285 was issued to cover this loss. Mission loading lists state the crew was composed of:
2 Lt Robert B. Lawrence p
2 Lt Dudley A. Federau c-p
2 Lt Eugene F. Harris nav
2 Lt Raymond L. Anderson bomb
TSgt Kenneth E. Zarder eng/tt gun
SSgt Charles J. Birbiglia, Jr r/o
SSgt James H. Figgat btg
Sgt Arvil M. Rockwell wg
SSgt Aloysius A. Yurasha tail gun
Sgt Harry E. Gallagher photo
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Lawrence, Federau, Birbiglia, and Yurasha were killed; others captured.