Last Known Activity
Raymond R. Bazata was born in Dodge, Nebraska on January 13, 1923 to Gustav and Emma Petricek Bazata. The US Censuses 1930 and 1940 report the family living in Lincoln, Nebraska.
No military records have been located for Bazata, but it is known he was drafted, probably in 1943. He was trained as a flight engineer and an aerial gunner, then sent to crew training with original crew led by Lt Carroll. This crew went to England, arriving there on October 5, 1944. Bazata flew at least 20 missions.
On March 10, 1945, a crew consisting of some of the Lt Larsen crew, Lt Carroll crew, and other crews was assembled for a mission to bomb the synthetic oil refineries (Braunkohle Nenzin AG) at Zeitz, Germany. The aircraft was hit by flak near the target area, and # 3 engine dropped off the aircraft. The pilot turned toward Russia, and announced by radio he was "making for the Russian lines." The aircraft crashed later in Germany.
Witnesses relate the crew all made parachute landings, but were captured and executed by S.S. troops. No confirmation of this is available. One crewman was spared, and survived. The dead were supposedly buried in a nearby cemetery.
In 1947, Allied searchers investigated, but could find no remains except those of TSgt Dineen. These remains were moved to, and buried at, the Lorraine American Cemetery in France. All others are memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. In addition, a stone in memory of TSgt Bazata stands in Section 1, Row 3 in the Saint John's Nepomunce Catholic Cemetery in Howells, Nebraska.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
TSgt Raymond R. Bazata was acting as flight engineer and top turret gunner on B-17G # 44-6470, unnamed, assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 13714 was issued for the loss. Crew rosters and personnel files show the crew was composed of:
1 Lt Arthur G. Larsen, Jr. p
1 Lt Thomas E. O'Neill c-p
2 Lt Dale F. Watterson nav
TSgt Charles M. Dineen tog
TSgt Raymond R. Bazata eng/tt gun
TSgt Joseph M. Popson r/o
SSgt Willard P. Bostrom btg
SSgt Marvin F. Barner wg
SSgt John E, Kaiser tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
TSgt Dineen is carried in all 100th Bomb Group records as "Charles M. Dineen." His middle name was actually "Walter." All other sources call him Charles W. Dineen.
In the original Carroll crew photo, Bazata is standing, 3rd from left.
Service photo source: