Last Known Activity
Howard D. McCarl was born in Oregon in 1921. He was a son of Andrew S. and Helen M. Gassett McCarl. Both the US Censuses 1930 and 1940 show the family living in Metzger, Oregon. There is a reference to him in the "Old Oregon," a publication of the University of Oregon showing him as a member of the Class of 1943.
According to the Montana Register of Marriages, 1825-1960, he married Elaine Beverly Ferry in Missoula, Montana on April 27, 1943.
He enlisted in the military in 1943, was trained as a pilot, commissioned, and assigned for further combat training. He was assigned to the combat crew of Lt Railing in England in August, 1944. He flew as co-pilot on 9 credited missions with this crew.
On September 28, 1944, the crew was part of a bomber force attacking the Krupp Grunsonwerke A.G. plant located at Magdeburg, Germany. As the bomb run commenced, the formation was attacked from the rear by approximately 40 German aircraft. Nine of eleven B-17s in the Low squadron were shot down.
The aircraft was last seen, in formation and apparently under control. No parachutes were observed. The right wing was on fire. German records state the aircraft plunged straight into the ground near the target area and exploded. The records further state 8 bodies were recovered from the scene, although at least one was from another crew shot down at the same time.
Railing crew members, according to German records, recovered were 5 identified by dogtags, and 2 unknowns. Those seven were the only ones mentioned. They were all buried in separate graves in a cemetery at Schladen. McCarl is not listed as a "known" and was buried in either grave number 1094 or 1104.
These bodies were recovered after the war, and moved to other cemeteries. Lt McCarl was returned to the U.S. and buried in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery in a common grave with two other persons. The grave is in Section C, Site 1283.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Montana Marriage Register, 1925-1960
Lt Howard D. McCarl was the assigned co-pilot on B-17G # 43-38572, unnamed and with no nose decorations, assigned to the 360th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 9409 details the loss of this aircraft and crew. Mission loading lists establish the crew as:
2 Lt Charles F. Railing p
2 Lt Howard D. McCarl c-p
2 Lt Meyer Leibovitz nav
2 Lt Louis H. Willson bomb
SSgt James B. Mellon, Jr eng/tt gun
SSgt William M. Hanna r/o
Sgt Lawrence L. Burgeson btg
Sgt Lorne R. Cole waist gunner
Sgt Ralph K. Barber tail gun
Note: Grades and ranks as of mission date.
Note: There were no survivors.
In the crew photo, McCarl is in the back row, 2nd from left.