1st Lt. Ramon H Newman and Crew of “Big Gas Bird” B-17, 42-31638, Lost 12 September 1944: Missing Air Crew Report 8907.

Missing Air Crew Report at bottom of the page

Mission # 183: 12 Sep 1944 bombing of Bolhen, Germany. 548th Bomb Squadron, 385th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force

1st Lt. Newman, Ramon Henry (O-748456). Born 23 Mar 1916 in Schleicher, TX. Son of Verna Lee (Kirkpatrick) and Henry Offie Newman. Enlisted 6 Mar 1941 at Fort Bliss, TX. Newman stayed with the plane and crash landed near a forest. Awards include the Purple Heart Medal and Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Killed in Action 12 Sep 1944. Newman had thirty or more missions completed by the time of his death. Position on aircraft, Pilot.

Statements of the crew indicate that all survived the crash. Newman had a large laceration on his head but was bandaged by Fuchs. Hearsay evidence tends to point toward the four deceased members as being killed by local civilians near the crash site.

1st Lt. Lower, Edward James “Jay” (O-753146). Born 12 Sep 1921 in Tyrone, Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Piper and Emma Maria (Harris) Lower. Killed in Action 12 Sep 1944 (23rd birthday). Position on aircraft, Bombardier.

2nd Lt. Dater, Harvey (O-755290). Born 20 Mar 1921 in Detroit, Michigan. Son of Sarah (Goodkovitz) and Abraham Dater. Attended Saginaw High School. Moved to Lansing at age eighteen and worked as a salesman at a hardware store. He lived in the home of his uncle and aunt, Clarence and Rose (Dater) Gladstone, in Lansing. Married Ann Katz 11 Oct 1943. Enlisted in the AAC 3 Jun 1942 at Detroit. Killed in Action 12 Sep 1944. Awards include the Purple Heart Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Good Conduct Medal. Post 559 (Harvey Dater Post of Jewish War Veterans) Lansing was named in his honor. Position on aircraft, Copilot.

2nd Lt. Pearson, George William (O-723669). Born 2 Apr 1922 in Chester-Cheshire, England. Son of Doris Pearson. Prisoner of War 12 Sep 1944. Incarcerated at Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany. After the war he attended law school and worked as a co-director of Research Enterprises in Denver. Position on aircraft, Navigator. *See Fuchs’ bio.

S/Sgt. Morrissey, Tom Haston (35701189). Born 5 Aug 1924 in Harrodsburg, KY. Son of Ida (Taylor) and Thomas John Morrissey. Enlisted 6 Apr 1943 at Louisville. Aboard B-17, 42-31638, “Big Gas Bird” shot down 12 Sep 1944. Prisoner of War: incarcerated at Stalag Luft IV, Gross-Tychow; moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust then to Usedom Bei Savenmunde. Discharged 26 Sep 1945. Died 24 Mar 1994. Buried at Beech Grove, Marion County, IN.


Sgt. Fuchs, John Henry Jr (38422290). Born 3 Feb 1924 in Houston, Texas. Son of Gertrude (Wagner) and John H. Fuchs. Graduated from Reagan High School, Class of 1942. Enlisted in the Army 5 May 1943. Trained at, Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, TX (basic), gunnery at Las Vegas, NV, and flight crew training at Sioux City, IA. He was assigned to the 548th BS in Jun 1944. Crash-landed with the Newman crew 12 Sep 1944 and was captured several days later while attempting to return to Allied lines. Incarcerated at Stalag Luft IV, Gross-Tychow, Poland and later moved to Stalag Luft I. Discharged 9 Nov 1945. Awards include Purple Heart, POW, Good Conduct, American Campaign, European-African-Middle Eastern Service and World War II Victory Medals. Married Stella Preston 19 Oct 1947. Died 4 Feb 2011. Buried in the Bath Community Cemetery, Huntsville , TX. Position on aircraft, Top turret gunner.

*The 12 Sep mission was the first combat flight for Fuchs and Pearson. They were assigned to an experienced crew in order to provide the new men a better chance of returning to home base. As it turned out, it was their first and last mission.

S/Sgt. Estabrook, Clifton Daniel (31283270). Born 15 Apr 1923. Son of Mildred E (Pelkey) and Daniel Arthur Estabrook. Married Beryl Mcpherson 6 Jul 1942 in Chapman, ME. Enlisted 13 Jan 1943 at Bangor, ME. Incarcerated at Stalag Luft IV Gross-Tychow, moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust, then to Usedom Bei Savenmunde. Discharged 28 Sep 1945. Died 6 Dec 1999.

Tech/Sgt. Kuhn, Robert E (15377042). Born 1924. Son of Raymond Earl and Emma V (Moreland) Kuhn. Raymond died in 1931 and Emma moved herself and children back into the home of her parents. Enlisted 30 Nov 1942 at Fort Hayes, OH. Awards include the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Purple Heart Medal. Killed in Action 12 Sep 1944. Position on aircraft, Radio Operator/Gunner.

S/Sgt. Lyons, Claude Henry (34720529). Born 16 Dec 1923 in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Son of Alice Carrie (Greer) and Samuel Lyons. Enlisted 9 Feb 1943 at Ft Oglethorpe, GA. Prisoner of War 12 Sep 1944. Imprisoned at Stalag Luft Three, Sagan-Silesia, Germany; Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser. Married Hazel Beatrice Norton 9 Feb 1948 in Greene, TN. Died 5 Jan 1997. Position on aircraft, Waist gunner.

Known missions of Newman, Ramon H: Target=(T) Pilot=(P)
Mission #127, 6 Jun 1944 (Copilot) Target: Argetan (P) Colantino “Sleepytime Gal” 42-102642
133, 14 Jun (T) Florrenns (P) “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
134, 15 Jun (T) Hanover (P) 42-102486
135, 18 Jun (T) Hanover (P) 42-97211
138, 21 Jun (T) Berlin (P) 42-97211
145, 6 Jul (T) Creppy (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
149, 11 Jul (T) Munich (P) “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
150, 12 Jul (T) Munich (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
152, 14 Jul (T) Caddilac (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
153, 16 Jul (T) Stuttgart (P) “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
154, 19 Jul (T) Ebelsbach (P) “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
155, 20 Jul (T) Merseberg (P) “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
157, 24 Jul Ground Support (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
158, 25 Jul Ground Support (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
159, 28 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
160, 29 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
161, 30 Jul (T) Munich (P) “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
162, 1 Aug French Special (P) “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
163, 2 Aug (T) Paris (P) “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
171, 13 Aug (T) Ground Support (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
173, 15 Aug (T) Munster (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
175, 18 Aug (T) St. Dizier (P) “Heavenly Body” 44-6008
176, 24 Aug (T) Brux (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
177, 25 Aug (T) Rechlin (P) “Flak Shak” 42-97307
179, 27 Aug (T) Berlin (P) “Stork Club” 44-6136
181, 3 Sep (T) Brest (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
182, 5 Sep (T) Brest (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
183, 12 Sep (T) Bohlen (P) “Big Gas Bird” 42-31638

Known missions of Dater, Harvey:
Mission #154, 19 Jul 1944 (P) Newman
155, 20 Jul (P) Newman
157, 24 Jul (P) Newman
158, 25 Jul (P) Newman
159, 28 Jul (P) Newman
160, 29 Jul (P) Newman
161, 30 Jul (P) Newman
162, 1 Aug (P) Newman
163, 2 Aug (P) Newman
168, 8 Aug (P) Newman
169, 9 Aug (T) Furth (P) Followell “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
171, 13 Aug (P) Newman
173, 15 Aug (P) Newman
175, 18 Aug (P) Newman
176, 24 Aug (P) Newman
177, 25 Aug (P) Newman
179, 27 Aug (P) Newman
181, 3 Sep (P) Newman
182, 5-Sep (P) Newman
183, 12 Sep (P) Newman

Known missions of Lower, Edward J:
181, 3 Sep 1944 (T) Brest (P) Newman
182, 5 Sep (T) Brest (P) Newman
183, 12 Sep (T) Bohlen (P) Newman

Known missions of Lyons, Claude H.
Mission # 120, 2 Jun 1944 (T) Equihen (P) White “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 123, 4 Jun (T) Bulogne/Beavoir (P) Supplee “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
Mission # 125, 5 Jun (T) Benvoir (P) Supplee “Kentucky Winner” 42-102481
Mission # 126, 6 Jun (T) Caen (P) Supplee“Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 129, 7 Jun (T) Nirot (Niart) (P) Supplee Flak Shak” 42-97307
Mission # 131, 11 Jun (T) Le Touquet (P) “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 132 12 Jun (T) Montdidler (P) Supplee Homesick Angel 42-107135
Mission # 133, 14 Jun (T) Florrenns (P) Supplee“Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 137, 20 Jun (T) Fallersieben (P) Supplee“Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 141, 24 Jun (T) Wessermunde (P) Supplee 42-97211
Mission # 142, 25 Jun French Supply (P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 144, 29 Jun (T) Bohlen (P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 148, 8 Jul (T) Conches (P) Supplee “Back to the Shack” 42-97507
Mission # 153, 16 Jul (T) Stuttgart (P) Supplee “Half & Half” 42-97940
Mission # 154, 19 Jul (T) Ebelsbach (P) Supplee “Heavenly Body” 44-6008
Mission # 155, 20 Jul (T) Merseberg (P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 160, 29 Jul (T) Merseburg(P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 170, 11 Aug (T) Belfort (P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 171, 13 Aug Ground Support (P) Supplee 42-98016
Mission # 174, 16 Aug (T) Rositz (P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 177, 25 Aug (T) Rechlin (P) Supplee “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 178, 26 Aug (T) Brestm (P) Rudloff “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 181, 3 Sep (T) Brest (P) Rudloff 42-102486
Mission # 183, 12 Sep (T) Bohlen (P) Newman “Big Gas Bird” 42-31638

Known mission of Morrissey, Thomas H.
Mission #97, 27 Apr 1944 (T) Crossbow (P) Colantino “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
Mission #99, 28 Apr (T) (T) Cherbourg (P) Hughes “Mickey II” 42-31833
Mission #100, 29 Apr (T) Magdelburg (P) Colantino “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
Mission #122, 3 Jun (T) LePortal (P) West “Dimples Darling” 42-97593
103, 7 May (T) Berlin (P) Hughes “Jeanie Ricky” 42-31786
105, 9 May (T) Laon (P) Hughes 42-31413
106, 11 May (T) Brussels (P) Hughes “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
107, 12 May (T) Zwichau (P) Dittmer “Sleepytime Gal” 42-3388
118, 30 May (T) Hamm (P) Hughes “Mississippi Miss” 42-102679
126, 6 Jun (T) Caen (P) Hughes “Mississippi Miss” 42-102679
129, 7 Jun (T) Nirot (Niart) (P) Hughes “Heavenly Body” 44-6008
133, 14 Jun (T) Florrenns (P) Hughes PFF
134, 15 Jun (T) Hanover (P) Hughes “Mickey II” 42-31833
135, 18 Jun (T) Hanover (P) Smith “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
138, 21 Jun (T) Berlin (P) Smith “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
158, 25 Jul Ground Support (P) Smith “Fickle Finger of ?” 42-3335
159, 28 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) Lundsberg “Cella-Fain Lady” 42-31168
162, 1 Aug French Special (P) Davis “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
169, 9 Aug (T) Furth (P) Lundsberg 42-102486
179, 27 Aug (T) Berlin (P) Lundsberg “Texas Bluebonnet” 43-38060
180, 30 Aug (T) Bremen (P) Rudloff “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
181, 3 Sep (T) Brest (P) Rudloff 42-102486
183, 12 Sep (T) Bohlen (P) Newman “Big Gas Bird” 42-31638

Known missions of Estabrook, Clifton D.
Mission #133, 14 Jun 1944 (T) Florrenns (P) Newman “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
134, 15 Jun (T) Hanover (P) Newman 42-102486
135, 18 Jun (T) Hanover (P) Newman 42-97211
138, 21 Jun (T) Berlin (P) Newman 42-97211
144, 29 Jun (T) Bohlen (P)Ihlenburg “Hair’s Breath” 42-38199
149, 11 Jul (T) Munich (P) Newman “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
150, 12 Jul (T) Munich (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
153, 16 Jul (T) Stuttgart (P) Newman “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
154 19 Jul (T) Ebelsbach (P) Newman “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
155, 20 Jul (T) Merseberg (P) Newman “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
157, 24 Jul Ground Support (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
158, 25 Jul Ground Support (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
159, 28 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
160, 29 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) Newman “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
161, 30 Jul (T) Munich (P) Newman “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
162, 1 Aug French Special (P) Newman “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
163, 2 Aug (T) Paris (P) Newman “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
168, 8 Aug Ground Support (P) Wallace “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
169, 9 Aug (T) Furth (P) Followell “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
171, 13 Aug Ground Support (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
173, 15 Aug (T) Munster Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
175, 18 Aug (T) St. Dizier (P) Newman “Heavenly Body” 44-6008
176, 4 Aug (T) Brux (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
177, 25 Aug (T) Rechlin (P) Newman “Flak Shak” 42-97307
179, 27 Aug (T) Berlin (P) Newman “Stork Club” 44-6136
181, 3 Sep (T) Brest (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
182, 5 Sep (T) Brest (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
183, 12 Sep (T) Bohlen (P) Newman “Big Gas Bird” 42-31638

Known missions of Kuhn, Robert E.
Mission # 153, 16 Jul 1944 (T) Stuttgart (P) Newman “Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
Mission # 154, 19 Jul (T) Ebelsbach (P) Newman “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
Mission # 158, 25 Jul Ground Support (P) Newman, “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
Mission # 159, 28 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
Mission # 160, 29 Jul (T) Merseburg (P) Newman “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
Mission # 161, 30 Jul (T) Munich (P) Newman “Wells Cargo” 42-31778
Mission # 162, 1 Aug, French Special (P) Newman“Wells Cargo” 42-31778
Mission # 163, 2 Aug (T) Paris (P) Newman“Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335
Mission # 168, 8 Aug Ground Support (P) Wallace “Dozy Doats” 42-97079
Mission # 169, 9 Aug (T) Furth (P) Followell “Reluctant Lady” 42-107035
Mission # 175, 18 Aug (T) St. Dizier (P) Newman “Heavenly Body” 44-6008
Mission # 176, 24 Aug (T) Brux (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
Mission # 177, 25 Aug (T) Rechlin (P) Newman “Flak Shak” 42-97307
Mission # 179, 27 Aug (T) Berlin (P) Newman “Stork Club” 44-6136
Mission # 181, 3 Sep (T) Brest (P) Newman “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
Mission # 182, 5 Sep (T) Brest (P) “Satan’s Mate” 42-31677
Mission # 183, 12 Sep (T) Bohlen (P) Newman “Big Gas Bird” 42-31638

Newman and crew often flew 42-97079 “Dozy Doats.” “Dozy Doats” was lost over Berlin 6 oct 44.
“Honky Tonk Sal” 42-31335 was another aircraft commonly operated by the Newman crew.

Missing Air Crew Report 8907