Alander, Eino Viljo, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1054-Co-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, AAF MOS 1091, 562nd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Foreign Language(s)
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Alander, Eino Viljo, 2nd Lt.

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
Tampere, Finland; Indianapolis, Indiana
Last Address
Knettishall Air Field, England

Casualty Date
Mar 06, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Ardennes, Belgium
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot D Row 3 Grave 38

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World War II Fallen
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
388th Bombardment Group, Heavy562nd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1054, 388th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1091, 562nd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Eino Viljo Alander was born around February/March of 1920, in Finland. He came with his family at age 8 months on the S.S. Caronia in December, 1920. Records at Ellis Island show that on October 23, 1924, Eino (age 4 years) accompanied by (presumably) his mother, arrived from Copenhagen, Denmark on the ship Hellig Olar. The address given is Indianapolis, Indiana, where the family settled some 3 years before.

Eino enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana on June 2, 1942 as a private. At this time, he had attended college for one year, and was working as a draftsman.

However, by the end of 1943, he had completed pilot training and arrived to join the 562nd Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group at Knettishall Air Station, England. Although rated as a B-17 pilot, he was assigned to Lt. Clarence A. Gridley's crew, replacing Lt. John Cyphers.

His first mission was flown on December 31, 1943. He continued flying missions with this crew until March 6, 1944, when a mission was scheduled against Berlin.

The trip to the target was relatively uneventful, although flak was heavy over the target. On the return home, the formation was engaged by a number of FW-190 and BF-109 aircraft as it approached the Dutch border. Six of the formation bombers were shot down, Lt. Gridley's being one of them. Four of the aircraft crashed within miles of each other near the town of Schoeningdorf, Germany.

According to some records, seven of the air crew were taken as POWs, and the remaining three were Killed In Action. Other accounts vary.

Lt. Alander is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial located at Neuville-en-Cordroz, (Neupre) Belgium. He lies in Plot D, Row 3, Grave 38.


Aircraft involved was B-17G #42-31194, "Duchess of Dixie," 562nd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group. Missing Air Crew Report number 3084 applies.

According to 388th Bomb Group records, the crew consisted of:

1 Lt Clarence A. Gridley      p
2 Lt Eino V. Alander       c-p
2 Lt Donald F. Mecum     bomb
TSgt George H. Hockenberry     r/o
TSgt Robert W. Fanning       r/o
Tsgt James H. Parker     eng
SSgt David E. Liebman      btg
SSgt James W. Johnson        lwg
SSgt Bayne F. Tucker         rwg
SSgt Selmer Thompson    tail gun

There are discrepancies in the various reports concerning this aircraft loss.

According to the 562nd Bomb Squadron sortie listing, Fanning is listed as navigator; and Tucker is listed as ball turret gunner.
The MACR and 388th records state Alander, Parker, Liebman, and Tucker were KIA; others POW, disputing other reports that there were 3 KIA, 7 POW.
One account states that 2 crewmen were killed, with one being wounded and dying later of his wounds, leaving the figure of 7 POW intact.

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