Last Known Activity
Arthur E. Sheehan, Jr was born in Connecticut in 1924. He was a son of Arthur E., Sr and Gladys Annette Larson Sheehan. The US Census 1930 shows the family living in San Francisco, California. He had a brother named Edward and a sister named Pat (1931-2006) who was a movie and TV star, appearing in several films with well-known actors. Between 1948 and 1958, she appeared on 3 TV shows and had seven films.
Arthur was inducted into military service in San Francisco, California on August 23, 1943. The enlistment record states he had completed 3 years of high school. His civilian occupation is not given.
He was trained as an aerial gunner and deployed to England in July, 1944. He was assigned to the combat crew of Lt Shields, and flew 17 credited missions with this pilot.
On September 28, 1944, the crew was part of a raid on the Krupp Grunsonwerke A.G. plant in Magdeburg, Germany. While on the bomb run, the formation was attacked by a large number of German fighters. Nine of eleven B-17s in the Low squadron were quickly shot down.
Observers state the aircraft went into a tight spin after being attacked, and exploded. The wreckage fell near Helmstedt Air Base, near Suppingen. German records state that 6 dead were recovered, but list by name 5 with an unknown. Later reports add the remaining 2 crewmen killed. All were buried in the cemetery at Suppingen.
After the war, these bodies were recovered and moved to various cemeteries. Sheehan was moved to the American Cemetery at Margraten, Holland where he now lies in Plot O, Row 5, Grave 14.
NARA Enlistment Records
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record card (completed by father)
Sgt Arthur E. Sheehan, Jr was the assigned waist gunner on B-17G # 44-8330, unnamed, assigned to the 360th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report covers this loss. Mission loading lists verify the crew was:
1 Lt Edward F. Shields, Jr p
2 Lt William M. Cooter c-p
2 Lt Bruce C. Stangohr nav
2 Lt Wilbur W. Lee bomb
SSgt Leland J. Nagle eng/tt gun
SSgt Almo W. Dennerle r/o
SSgt Charles Horwitz btg
Sgt Arthur E. Sheehan, Jr waist gunner
SSgt Joseph J. Skubal tail gun
Note: Grades and ranks as of mission date.
Note: Lee and Nagel parachuted safely, but were captured.
Service photo source: