Hilding, R. D.

The Russell D. Hilding crew: 709th Squadron

Russell D. Hilding after receiving his Pilot wings in 1943.

 

43-37788 Missing in Action Munich 13 July 1944. Hit by Flak over the target, 3 engines out, #4 feathered, later out of gas. Last seen straggling behind the formation and under control. The crew bailed out over Northern France and the plane crashed near Vendrest, north-east of Meaux, France. Missing Air Crew Report MACR 6938. Salvaged 13 October 1944.

The Hilding crew aboard 43-37788 on 13 July 1944

Russell D. Hilding Pilot POW
Raymond E. Wojnicz Bombardier POW
George C. Mong Co-Pilot EVD
Claude A. Kelly Navigator EVD
Fred D. Gleason Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner EVD
Horace R. Dimartino Radio Operator EVD
Harry E. White Ball Turret Gunner EVD
Emory J. Markham Waist Gunner EVD
Erwin R. Williams Waist Gunner EVD
Joe W. Stewart Tail Gunner EVD

 

 

Hilding: Shot down 13 July 1944 in 43-37788 on Munich raid. Evaded for two weeks, then captured and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp for two months, then to Stalag 3, and force-marched from there to Stalag 7A in Moosburg. Liberated 29 April 1945.

His evasion story can be found on this French website.

 

Raymond E Wojnicz: Initially evaded with the help of French patriots, he was guided to Paris. Due to infiltration of the evasion network, he and his Piot Russell Hilding were arrested in August in Paris. First detained at the Fresnes prison near Paris, they were sent to the Buchenwald camp in Germany, from where they were released on 19 October 1944. Interned at Stalag Luft 3 in Sagan, Poland, the POWs were force-marched from that camp at the end of January 1945 and arrived at Stalag 7A in Moosburg, Germany. Liberated there by US troops on 29 April 1945.

 

Fred Douglas Gleason: Enlisted in January 1943. Trained as an Engineer/Gunner on B-17 bombers, he was sent to Europe. Assigned to the 447th Bomb Group/709th Bomb Squadron, he was shot down in B-17 #43-37788 on return of the 13 July 1944 mission to Munich. Evaded with the help of French patriots, he was back in England on 18 August 1944. Story of his evasion can be read at this French website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Some information and/or images sourced from the American Air Museum database