Linhart, Louis N., Sgt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1944 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
North Dakota
North Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Linhart, Louis N., Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Feb 09, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 82, Site 93D

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

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 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 611, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Louis N. Linhart was born in Syskton, North Dakota on June 25, 1922. His parents were Frank and Lena Linhart. The US Census 1940 shows the family residing in Bibdeau Township.

Linhart was inducted into military service on February 22, 1944 in Los Angeles, California. His enlistment record states year of birth 1921. He had completed 1 year of college (unnamed,) and was employed as a skilled welder or flame cutter.

He received training as an aerial gunner, and was assigned to the combat crew of Lt Barrat in England. He flew 20 missions, all with this crew, beginning December 9, 1944.

The designated target on February 9, 1945 was the synthetic oil plant at Lutzendorf, Germany. As the aircraft turned to the IP to ready for the bomb run, it was struck by another B-17 of the formation, slicing it into two pieces. The entire tail assembly, from the waist gunner position to the tail, was sheared off. Miraculously, the tail gunner managed to parachute down, only to be captured by civilians and turned over to the authorities.

As the front half of the aircraft was falling, it appeared to be aimed at the village of Eisenberg. Somehow, the pilot and co-pilot maneuvered the aircraft past the town, over an empty field, and salvoed the bombs. The aircraft hit the ground and exploded, killing the eight crew members still on board.

German records reveal that eight bodies (two unidentifiable) were recovered from the wreckage and buried in a local cemetery. These bodies were recovered by Allied personnel, and a contingent of them returned home to be buried. Six of the crew are buried in a common grave at Jefferson Barrack National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri at Section 82, Site 93D.

NOTE: In 1991, rings that belonged to the pilot and navigator were found at the crash site.

NOTE: In 1995, the grateful townspeople of Eisenberg erected a monument to the heroic crew that spared their town. crews
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records


Sgt Louis N. Linhart was the assigned ball turret gunner on B-17G # 43-39149, not named nor decorated with nose art, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron. Mission loading lists identify the crew members. Missing Air Crew Report 12229 was issued for this incident, and agrees that the crew was:

2 Lt Robert J. Barrat  p
2 Lt Dean Harvey  c-p
F/O Shirl P. Best  nav
Sgt William T. Karp  tog
Sgt Raymond F. Reiss  eng/tt gun
Sgt Matthew Lazarowicz  r/o
Sgt Louis N. Linhart  btg
Sgt Herbert D. Link  wg
Sgt George H. Emerson  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Emerson was the only survivor.

In the crew photo, Linhart is in the front row, 2nd from left.

Service photo source:

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