February 27, 1917 (Sioux City, Iowa) – July 15, 1995 (Atlanta, GA); 78 years old
Married to Helen Marie Tate on June 26, 1946, in Des Moines, Iowa
Married to Mary L. Keuhm on November 27, 1976, in Westport, Connecticut
Last local address: 2 Gonczy Road, Westport
Enlisted January 20, 1942
Serial number 19078078
Unit: 92nd Bombardment Group, 327th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
Born to Stephen E. (1880-1935) and Mary F. Hays Boisseau (1888-1920). Two sisters, Lorella C. (1910-?) and Mary E. (1914-1997).
German POW in Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, following aircraft accident described below.
From The Independent newspaper of Hawarden, Iowa on February 7, 1945
Technical Sergeant John E. Boisseau, the nephew of Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Miller of Hawarden, is a prisoner of war in Germany according to a card received from him this week. Writing from the Nazi prison camp, he states that the bomber on which he was serving, was downed over enemy territory on October 3, 1944, and that he was captured as soon as he landed. He said he was lucky, as he and the navigator were the only men on the crew who were able to get out of the plane and parachute to safety. He said that he was getting enough food to keep going and a few cigarettes. He asked that the Red Cross send some canned meat, dried fruit, and cigarettes.
From Missing Air Crew Report 43-38434
Date: October 3, 1944
Time: 1113 Hours
Cause: Mid-air collision at 25,000 feet with B-17G tail #43-38445 piloted by 1st Lt Niels R. Nielsen
Serial number: 43-38396
Location: Giessen, Germany
Destination: Nurenberg, Germany
The crew of the Insomnia
Pilot, 1st Lt Edmund L. Dornburgh, KIA
Co-pilot, 1st Lt Morris D. Jay, KIA
Navigator, 1st Lt Wallace W. Bengson, KIA
Bombardier, 1st Lt Charles R. Walter Jr., MIA then POW
Top Turret Gunner, TSgt John E. Boisseau, MIA then POW
Radio Operator, TSgt William T. Barrett, KIA
Ball Turret Gunner, SSgt Phillip L. Chiofilo, KIA
Tail Gunner, SSgt Laurence W. Chappell, KIA
Waist Gunner, Sgt Frederick W. Carter, KIA
Witness statement by 1st Lt Charles R. Walter
Chief, Notification Section
Personal Affairs Branch
Personal Services Division
I am replying to your letter of November 20 in which you requested information on the circumstances surrounding the death of Sgt F.W. Carter, 19215874.
On the morning of October 3, 1944, I was flying as a bombardier on a mission to Nurnberg, Germany. Sgt Carter was a substitute member of the crew. It was about noon when we had a collision with another B-17 in the group. I saw the plane from my position in the nose, but I did not have time to give a warning.
The two planes collided and our ship turned over on its back and went into a spin. There was not enough time for anyone to jump. I was unable to move out of my place because of the terrific centripetal force. However, I did manage to buckle on my chest-type chute. The plane exploded and I was blown out through the flexiglass nose. I parachuted to earth and was taken prisoner by the Germans.
My engineer, SSgt John Boisseau, also escaped. He managed to reach the nose hatch before the ship went into a spin. I saw him in his parachute, but I saw no more chutes. I can only assume that the remainder of the crew were immediately killed in the explosion. I thought that I had written the families of all the crew but I evidently overlooked Sgt Carter’s family.
The accident occurred at 26,000 feet over Giessen, Germany.
Yours very truly,
Charles R. Walter Jr.
1st Lt A.C.
Buried in Oaklawn Cemetery, 1530 Bronson Rd, Fairfield, Connecticut; Section HB, Plot 362. Photo by webmaster.