Last Known Activity
A discrepancy starts off the profile of Agnus A. Alsup. This is the name that all records (but one) lists as the tail gunner for the Rish crew. Personnel files, crew rosters, mission lists, etc for the 100th Bomb Group show this to be the man. However, his grave marker in Deming, New Mexico is plainly marked "Harold A. Alsup." The information on this gravestone exactly matches that given for Angus A. Alsup in other records. Could his name have been Harold Angus and for some reason, it was recorded wrong?
The US Census 1930 shows that a Harold A. Alsup, son of Newbern and Nellie Alsup, resided with his parents in Socorro, New Mexico.
At any rate, Angus A. Alsup enlisted on November 11, 1942 at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas as a private in the Army Air Forces. His enlistment files state he had completed 4 years of high school, and that he was employed as a semi-skilled chauffeur or driver.
He was selected for flight duty, and trained as an aerial gunner. He was promoted to Sergeant, and assigned to a crew in the Western U.S. for crew training. This took him to stations in Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Tennessee. The crew then ferried a new B-17 to England, arriving at Thorpe-Abbots on November 28, 1943. They flew their first combat mission in Decemer, 1943, and completed 17 missions.
On March 6, 1944, the crew was tasked to bomb the industrial areas near Berlin, Germany. En route to the target,the formation was attacked by numerous enemy aircraft. The aircraft was severely damaged, and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. (The MACR states 7 were captured, 3 were killed. 100th Bomb Group records show that 6 were captured, 4 were killed.)
The aircraft went into a tight spin, the tail assembly broke off, and the rest of the aircraft exploded. The wreckage fell near the village of Aschenbuhl, Germany. Evidently, the dead were recovered and buried locally. After the war ended, some of the bodies were retrieved and buried elsewhere. Today, Sgt Alsup lies in the Deming Cemetery in Deming, New Mexico.
US Census 1930
NARA Enlistment Records
Deming (NM) Headlight newspaper, issue June 17, 1949
Sgt Angus A. Alsup was acting as tail gunner on B-17G # 42-38044, assigned to the 351st Bomb Squadron. (One source refers to this aircraft as "42-39044," all others use correct number.)
Missing Air Crew Report 3026 applies to this loss. Crew rosters and personnel files state the crew was composed of:
2 Lt Merril T. Rish p
2 Lt Frank A. Smith c-p
2 Lt Royal W. Lingenfelter nav
2 Lt Donald K. Kehm bomb
SSgt Howard T. Skaggs, Jr. eng/tt gun
SSgt George F. Danehower r/o
Sgt Dewey L. Essary btg
SSgt Estil V. McGuffie wg
Sgt Armand C. Burt wg
Sgt Angus A. Alsup tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Lts. Rish and Smith plus Sgts Essary and Alsup were killed. All others captured.
Sgt Essary replaced Sgt Chester L. Powell (original crew) on March 3, 1944. Sgt Powell was killed on a later mission.
In the crew photo, Alsup is in the front row, third from left.