Douglas Class of 1943e
Highest rank: 1st Lieutenant.
Born: Feb. 14, 1920
Died: Mar. 18, 1944
MACR (Missing Air Crew Report): #3238, partly taken from German information.
He was with the 8th Air Force, 351st Bomb Group, 509th Bomb Squadron.
On Mar. 18, 1944, he was on a heavy bombardment mission leaving from AAF Station 110, with the intended destination of Landsberg, Germany. He was the pilot of a B-17G (S/N: 42-37832) with 9 other crew members on board. He was flying on No. 5 position, lead squadron, when it had its vertical stabilizer shot off by enemy aircraft. It fell out of formation but was still under control. A few minutes later it blew up and three parachutes were reported as having come from it.
Five of the crew were taken prisoners. The other five crew members were reported dead, including W. R. Illies. Three of the dead were located with unopened parachutes around the plane in distances of about 100 meters from the place of crash. Two were dead under the wreckage of the fuselage. They had died by gunshot wounds at face and chest (Editor: from this German report, it is not clear who was shot or when they were shot. It may be assumed that the shots were from enemy aircraft into the B-17).
All five dead airmen were buried at the Cemetery of Erbstetten in Grave #40 at the cemetery wall.
Probably removed in 1946 and eventually buried at
Section J, Site 14342
Long Island National Cemetery
Suffolk County, NY
His record of missions can be found here: http://351st.org/loadlist/search.php?type=n&last=Illies&first=Walter