Francis Veazy Walker

European Theater

Highest rank achieved: 1st Lt.

S/N: O-26174

Born: Oct. 10, 1918 in Georgia (possibly Warthen, Ga.)

Declared as dead on: June 9, 1944. A memorial marker for him is in Brownwood Cemetery, Sandersville, GA.

Honors: Service Medal, 2 Air Medals and 2 Purple Hearts.

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #6034

He was in the 15th A.F., 98th Bombardment Group, 344th Bomb Sqdn. He was the pilot of a B-24-H (S/N: 42-94917) with 9 other crewmen that left June 9, 1944 from Fortunato Cesare Air Depot, Lecce Italy with the target of Munich, Germany’s bomb marshalling yards. His plane collided with another plane.

A navigator, John J. Felthaus, Jr., who was on the mission, described the situation as follows:

“While returning from the target at 4110 N; 1720 E, at 1246 hours, at 6,000 feet, aircraft #42-94917-C flying number three position, first box, first attack unit, was in a mid-air collision with aircraft number 841-N, flying number 2 position, low box, third attack unit. Aircraft #42-94917-C lost approximately six to eight feet off of the left wing and immediately fell off into a left bank in a gradual descent. Our aircraft left the formation and followed the crippled plane down and circled the point of ditching, 4130 N; 1710 E. for forty minutes. Our limited gas supply necessitated our landing at Bari. When the plane ditched it disintegrated and we saw one man in the water, apparently alive but with no Mae West. Our plane dropped four Mae West’s and on our fourth circle of the wreckage, this man had disappeared. The spot was clearly marked with sea marker and a few oxygen bottles.”

From Edward J. Dowling, a co-pilot on another plane in the mission, stated:

“I saw aircraft #42-94917-C collide in mid air with aircraft number 841-N. The pilot of the crippled plane appeared to be trying to make shore but could not as the loss of the wing tip forced the plane in a continuous right circle and high airspeed to keep altitude and prevent spinning. The plane ditched at a good level but hit at a ten degree angle and skipped through the water and disintegrated. It hit the water very well and did not bounce. I saw one man swimming in the water. He did not seem to have on a Mae West.”

There were no survivors.