Reber, Ehle H., 1st Lt

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Reber, Ehle H., 1st 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
Bieber, CA
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Jan 23, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)Aviation Cadet Flight School303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1941-1941, United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
  1941-1942, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 770, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Oregon
  1937-1941, University of Oregon
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Ehle Hiram Reber was born in Bieber, California on January 30, 1920 to John Rudolph and Beulah Smith Reber. The U.S. Census 1930 shows the family residing in Malin, Oregon. Ehle attended and graduated from Malin High School in 1937, where he had been an all-star athlete.

He enrolled in the University of Oregon, and ran track for the four years he was there. A 1938 city directory for Eugene, Oregon lists him as a student at the university. He graduated in 1941, and enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet.

His NARA enlistment record shows he enlisted on July 15, 1941, at Fort Ord, California. The record also states he had completed 4 years of college, and his occupational grouping was Actors/Actresses. He attended flight school, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1942.

He was one of the original pilots assigned to the newly-activated 303rd Bomb Group at Walla Walla, Washington. He was assigned a combat crew which received special training at Alamogordo, New Mexico and Biggs Field, Texas. On September 23, 1942, the crew picked up a new B-17 in Battle Creek, Michigan and flew to England, arriving at Molesworth on November 2, 1942.

The first combat mission was flown on November 18, 1942. He would fly 6 additional ones, 1 being an abortive sortie. On January 23, 1943, the target area was the port facilities at Lorient, France. After bombing the target, the aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters that shot away two engines.
Ehle turned the aircraft for home, but kept losing altitude. Reports vary - some state the aircraft crashed into the Bay of Biscay; at least one states the aircraft ditched in the English Channel

The aircraft definitely went down in water, and all crew members were killed. Lt Reber is remembered on the Walls of the Missing ay the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England. In 2011, the Malin, Oregon Municipal Airport was renamed the Ehle H. Reber Airport in his honor.
NARA Enlistment Records
US CEnsus 1930
City Directory, Eugene, OR 1938

California Birth Index 1905-1995


1 Lt Ehle H. Reber was the pilot of B-17F # 41-24607, nicknamed "Jerry Jinx," assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Mission loading lists and the Missing Air Crew Report 15473 agree the crew was:

1 Lt Ehle H. Reber   p
2 Lt Allan D. Mitchell    c-p
2 Lt Jarold J. Byrom    nav
2 Lt RobertJ. Swindle
SSgt Duke L. Hamilton, Jr  eng/tt gun
SSgt Donald A. Mayo   r/o
Sgt  Irwin D. Blankenship    btg
Sgt  Luther M. Gross   lwg
Sgt  Victor G. Hand   rwg
Sgt  Roger W. Milford   tail gun

NOTE: Some men received promotions just before or after their death. Ranks and grades between the MACR and mission listings may vary.

In the original crew photo, Lt Reber is in the back row, on left.

In the returning-from-mission photo, Reber is in front, center, on left fender of jeep.

Service photo source:

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