384TH MUSEUM
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Preller, Robert Henry

Individual Personnel Data
Name Preller, Robert Henry, "Bob"   
Rank Second Lieutenant / First Lieutenant
Serial Number O-758621   
Unit Assignments
  • Assigned to the 546th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #91 dated 16 May 1944, effective 16 May 1944.
  • Assigned to the 70th Replacement Control Depot, AAF Station Stone, per 546th Bomb Squadron Morning Report dated 17 September 1944, effective 14 September 1944.
Duty Co-pilot
MOS1091 - Pilot, B-17
Last Duty Date 17 September 1944
Results Completed Tour, Returned to USA
Additional Information
  • Preller flew a B-17G to England in May 1944 with the Gibson crew. En route, they landed at Gander, Newfoundland and visited the PX while awaiting clearance to proceed. There he found chocolate NECCO wafers. Knowing this was his father's favorite candy (and with wartime scarcity in the USA) he bought a carton of them and asked the clerk to mail it back home for him. He never found out if his dad received it.
  • Bob Preller's brother Gordon served with the 95th Bomb Group in Horham. Their assignments in England overlapped for over a month, but, try as they might, they never managed to get together. They both survived the war, and went on to full careers with the USAF.
  • Returned to the USA in October 1944, aboard the Queen Mary.
Photo Album:Crew Photo Album




Crew Composition When Assigned to the 384th BG
Replacement Combat Crew
CREWMEMBER POSITION RESULTS
2nd Lt. Gibson, James AllenPilotCT
2nd Lt. Preller, Robert Henry, "Bob"Co-pilotCT
2nd Lt. O'Neill, John PNavigatorCT
2nd Lt. Flowers, James RichardBombardierTR
S/SGT. Gramc, EdwardRadio Operator / GunnerTR
S/SGT. Bowers, Henry MEngineer / Top Turret GunnerCT
S/SGT. Holderbaum, Kenneth (NMI), JrBall Turret GunnerTR
SGT. Kennemer, Frank WinifriedTail GunnerCT
SGT. Gilmore, James K, JrFlexible GunnerCT
PVT. Lafferty, Cornelius MFlexible GunnerTR

Crew History

The Gibson Crew was formed at Drew Field (now Tampa International Airport) in Tampa, Florida in March 1944. After crew training, they picked up a new B-17G at Hunter Field, Georgia on 29 April and flew it to England via Dow Army Airfield, Bangor, Maine, RCAF Station Gander, Newfoundland, and Iceland in early May. The crew then moved to the 8th Air Force Replacement Depot at Stone, Staffordshire, for theater orientation while awaiting their combat assignment. They joined the 546th BS on 16 May 1944 as a replacement crew. The squadron crew number is currently unknown.
About half the crew flew nearly all its missions together: Lafferty flew no missions with Gibson, Gramc was transferred to the 305th BG with the Fitzgerald Crew, Holderbaum was removed from flying status, and the others were reassigned as needed by the Army. All survived the war without loss.

Missions, Aircraft, Crews
This individual was credited with 33 Combat Missions.
Number Date Target Position Aircraft Mission/Sortie Information
116 27 May 1944 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Mannheim, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑107121 Combat Mission Credit
Lead Group.
Sortie Report
117 28 May 1944 Target: Junkers Aircraft Plant
Type: Aircraft Industry
Location: Dessau, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑31222 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
119 29 May 1944 Target: Focke-Wulf Aircraft Parts Plant
Type: Aircraft Industry
Location: Krzesiny District, Poznań, Poland
Co-pilot 42‑97142 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
122 2 June 1944 Target: Gun Battery with six 155mm guns, Tactical Support
Type: Military
Location: Hardelot (5 miles S of Boulogne), France
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
125 4 June 1944 Target: Artillery Battery
Type: Military
Location: Hardelot (Boulogne area), France
Co-pilot 42‑97273 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
126 5 June 1944 Target: Field Artillery Battery
Type: Military
Location: La Fosse, France
Co-pilot 42‑97273 Combat Mission Credit
High Group, Low Squadron Deputy.
Sortie Report
128 6 June 1944 Target: Two Bridges
Type: Transportation
Location: Caen, France
Co-pilot 42‑102601 Combat Mission Credit
J Squadron.
Sortie Report
130 7 June 1944 Target: Transportation Hub
Type: Military
Location: Caen, France
Co-pilot 42‑107057 Combat Mission Credit
Lead Group Flying Spare. Joined formation.
Sortie Report
131 8 June 1944 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards (41C) & Loire River Railroad Bridge (41D)
Type: Transportation
Location: Orleans, France
Co-pilot 42‑97510 Combat Mission Credit
41D Group. Bombed Primary Target.
Sortie Report
134 13 June 1944 Target: Dreux Airfield
Type: German Air Force (Luftwaffe)
Location: Dreux, France
Co-pilot 42‑102501 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
135 14 June 1944 Target: Coulommiers Airfield
Type: German Air Force (Luftwaffe)
Location: Coulommiers, France
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
41B Wing, Lead Group.
Sortie Report
137 16 June 1944 Target: Athies Airfield
Type: German Air Force (Luftwaffe)
Location: Laon, France
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Aborted Mission After Taking Off
Low Group. Turned back over England because they could not find the formation.
Sortie Report
141 20 June 1944 Target: Oil Refineries
Type: Oil Industry
Location: Harburg (Hamburg area), Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
Low Group.
Sortie Report
142 21 June 1944 Target: Friedrichstrasse Industrial Area
Type: Industry
Location: Berlin, Germany
Co-pilot 43‑37713 Combat Mission Credit
Composite High Group.
Sortie Report
145 24 June 1944 Target: German Vacuum Oil Company
Type: Oil Industry
Location: Oslebshausen (Bremen area), Germany
Co-pilot 43‑37713 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
146 25 June 1944 Target: Railroad Bridge & Embankment
Type: Transportation
Location: Sens, France
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
147 27 June 1944 Target: NOBALL (V-1 Storage Depot)
Type: CROSSBOW (V-Weapons)
Location: Saint-Martin-L'Hortier, France
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
41st B section.
Sortie Report
153 7 July 1944 Target: Me-109 Aircraft Factory
Type: Aircraft Industry
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97948 Combat Mission Credit
High Squadron deputy, high group, 41st A wing.
Sortie Report
154 8 July 1944 Target: NOBALL (V-1 Launch Site)
Type: CROSSBOW (V-Weapons)
Location: Renescure, France
Co-pilot 42‑102620 Combat Mission Credit
High group.
Sortie Report
155 11 July 1944 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Munich / München, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97948 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
156 12 July 1944 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Munich / München, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97948 Combat Mission Credit
Low Squadron deputy, low group.
Sortie Report
157 13 July 1944 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Munich / München, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑102601 Combat Mission Credit
41B Group.
Sortie Report
160 18 July 1944 Target: Rocket Research & Development Complex
Type: CROSSBOW (V-Weapons)
Location: Peenemünde & Zinnowitz, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑102501 Combat Mission Credit
41B Group.
Sortie Report
161 19 July 1944 Target: Hydrogen Peroxide Plant
Type: CROSSBOW (V-Weapons)
Location: Höllriegelskreuth District, Pullach, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑38014 Combat Mission Credit
High group deputy.
Sortie Report
164 24 July 1944 Target: Tactical - Enemy Strong Points
Type: Military
Location: La Chapelle en Juger & Hébécrevon, France
Co-pilot 42‑97948 Combat Mission Credit
Lead group.
Sortie Report
168 31 July 1944 Target: Aero Engine Factory
Type: Aircraft Industry
Location: Munich / München, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑107057 Combat Mission Credit
Low Group, High Squadron Lead.
Sortie Report
169 1 August 1944 Target: Railroad Bridge
Type: Transportation
Location: Chartres, France
Tail Gunner 42‑102933 Combat Mission Credit
Low Group Lead.
Sortie Report
182 18 August 1944 Target: Tactical: Bridge
Type: Transportation
Location: Vise, Belgium
Co-pilot 42‑102500 Combat Mission Credit
High section deputy, high group.
Sortie Report
184 25 August 1944 Target: Airfield & Airpark
Type: German Air Force (Luftwaffe)
Location: Anklam, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑107083 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
185 26 August 1944 Target: Buer Synthetic Oil Plant
Type: Oil Industry
Location: Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑107083 Combat Mission Credit
Low group.
Sortie Report
188 5 September 1944 Target: I. G. Farben Chemical Works
Type: Industry
Location: Ludwigshafen, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97510 Combat Mission Credit
Landed away at Manston due to battle damage: flak shot out hydraulic system.
Sortie Report
190 9 September 1944 Target: I. G. Farben Chemical Works
Type: Industry
Location: Ludwigshafen, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97510 Combat Mission Credit
Dropped eight bombs on target; four after target (equipment malfunction).
Sortie Report
191 10 September 1944 Target: BMW Motor Component Parts Plant
Type: Industry
Location: Sindelfingen, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
Hot camera ship.
Sortie Report
194 13 September 1944 Target: Leuna Synthetic Oil Refinery
Type: Oil Industry
Location: Merseburg, Germany
Co-pilot 42‑97251 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report

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