Lasker, Robert M., 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1034-Navigator
Last AFSC Group
USAAF
Primary Unit
1944-1944, M 1034, 358th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1944
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Year of Birth
1923
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Lasker, Robert M., 2nd Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Eau Claire
Last Address
358th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Sep 28, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Germany
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Forest Hill Cemetery - Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

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 Unit Assignments
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy358th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1944, M 1034, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, M 1034, 358th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 Colleges Attended 
Harvard University
  1942-1943, Harvard University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Robert M. Lasker was born in Wisconsin on February 17, 1923, a son of Mr/Mrs Herman Lasker. He graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1942 (one source states 1943), and enlisted in the US Army Air Forces in June, 1942 while attending Harvard University. He was called to active duty in February, 1943.

He was selected for flight duty, and graduated from Navigator's school on April 22, 1944. He was commissioned, and assigned to an operational unit in Tennessee for bomber training. He was sent overseas to England in July, 1944, and joined the combat crew headed by Lt William Lay.

He flew 8 credited missions with this crew, the first being in July, 1944. On September 28, 1944, the target was the Krupp Grunsonwerke A. G. plant located at Magdeburg, Germany. On the bomb run, the formation was suddenly attacked by a large number of enemy aircraft. Lay's aircraft was first seen as being in trouble when other crews in the formation reported it was on fire from the waist toward the tail.

The flames soon spread throughout the entire aircraft, as it rolled to an inverted position and plunged to the ground. Only one crew member survived. German reports state 9 bodies were recovered near the crash area, 4 that were identified and 5 rated as unknown. (Later it was learned that one of the bodies was from another B-17 shot down in the same area.)

These dead were buried in small local cemeteries in Heiningen and Linden, villages near the target. After the war, they were recovered and moved to various cemeteries. Lt Lasker was returned to the U.S. and buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

www.findagrave.com/search
www.303rdbg.com/mission report/248.pdf
www.303rdbg.com/combat crews
www.chippewavalleyWW2.org/veterans/L/LA/...LaskerRobert.html

 

  

Comments/Citation
Lt Robert M. Lasker was the assigned navigator on B-17G # 43-38206, named "Silver Fox," assigned to the 358th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 9408 was issued to cover this loss. According to mission loading lists, the crew was composed of:

2 Lt William P. Lay  p
2 Lt David A. Grenier  c-p
2 Lt Robert M. Lasker  nav
2 Lt Jackson R. Bohannon  bomb
Sgt  Ray A. Miller  eng/tt gun
Sgt  Freddie E. Kane  r/o
Sgt  Donald T. Hasper  waist gun
Sgt  Henry F. Gillespie  tail gun
Sgt  Richard J. Chaltraw  tail gun

Note: Grades and ranks as given on date of mission.

Note: Sgt Miller was the only survivor, and was captured.

Note: Mission log gives both Gillespie and Chaltraw as tail gunner. Personnel records state Gillespie was the ball turret gunner.

Service photo source:
www.findagrave.com

 

   
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