Long, Robert Clay

Individual Personnel Data
Name Long, Robert Clay   
Rank Second Lieutenant
Serial Number O-778518   
Unit Assignments Assigned to the 546th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #8 dated 9 January 1945
Duty Pilot
MOS1091 - Pilot, B-17
Last Duty Date 3 February 1945
Results Killed In Action
Final Resting Place or Memorial: Crescent Heights Cemetery, Pleasant Hill, Illinois
DecorationsAwarded the Silver Star (posthumously) for his valorous actions during the 3 February 1945 mission and after ditching.
Citation For
Higher Decoration
SILVER STAR (posthumous). ROBERT C. LONG, O-778518, Second Lieutenant, Army Air Forces, United States Army. For gallantry in action while piloting a B-17 aircraft on a bombardment mission over Germany, 3 February 1945. A few minutes before reaching the target, Lieutenant Long's plane was heavily damaged by flak and two (2) engines knocked out. At this point, he could have jettisoned his bombs and reached friendly territory with comparative safety, but he elected to fulfill his mission. During withdrawal, he was forced to leave the formation and upon reaching the Channel, ordered all equipment thrown overboard preparatory to ditching. Calmly directing and encouraging the crew he ditched the aircraft without serious injury to the members of the crew. In the heavy seas, Lieutenant Long swam forty (40) yards to an empty raft where he pulled himself aboard and collapsed. Hearing the other crewmen call that their raft was overloaded, he attempted to paddle towards them with his hands until he became violently ill. The fact that after the rafts were joined, Lieutenant Long continued to give instructions to the crew until he succumbed to exposure attest to his fortitude, courage and steadfast devotion to duty. Next of kin: Mrs. Oca Robinson Long, Pleasant Hill, Illinois.

Citation Source: 'As Briefed...'
Related Documents Missing Air Crew Report # 15315 (25.934 MB)
Photo Album:Crew Photo Album

Crew Composition When Assigned to the 384th BG
Replacement Combat Crew
2nd Lt. Long, Robert ClayPilotKIA
2nd Lt. Vrana, Ralph JohnCo-pilotFCMEW
2nd Lt. Field, Edward (NMI)NavigatorFCMEW
CPL. Rudolph, Marvin IrvingTogglierCT
CPL. Maki, Frederick ArnoldRadio Operator / GunnerMIA
SGT. Oglesby, Howard JasperEngineer / Top Turret GunnerCT
PVT. Cook, Jack ColemanBall Turret GunnerKIA
CPL. Davis, Thomas ArnoldTail GunnerTR
CPL. Duncan, Donald RamseyFlexible GunnerFCMEW

Missions, Aircraft, Crews
This individual was credited with 5 Combat Missions.
Number Date Target Position Aircraft Mission/Sortie Information
259 22 January 1945 Target: Synthetic Oil Refinery
Type: Oil Industry
Location: Sterkrade, Germany
Co-pilot 43‑39053 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
261 28 January 1945 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Cologne / Köln, Germany
Co-pilot 43‑38501 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
262 29 January 1945 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Siegen, Germany
Pilot 43‑38501 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
263 1 February 1945 Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Mannheim, Germany
Pilot 43‑38766 Combat Mission Credit
Sortie Report
264 3 February 1945 Target: Tempelhof Railroad Marshalling Yards
Type: Transportation
Location: Berlin, Germany
Pilot 42‑102501 Combat Mission Credit
Aircraft left formation after bombs away with one engine feathered, damaged by flak. Dropped behind formation and appeared headed for Russian lines, but ditched in the North Sea. 2nd Lt. Robert C. Long received posthumous award of Silver Star, for his selfless efforts to save his crew after ditching. See 'As Briefed...' page 201. MACR 15315
Sortie Report

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