Ivan Ray Lee
S/Sgt 12073240 612th
1921 - 1944
Right Waist Gunner aboard 42-37833 (Omar The Dentmaker)
Ivan was born in Aug 29, 1921, in Endicott, Broome, New York.
On Nov 15, 1942, he married to Mrs. Edna E. Lee and moved to Johnson City NY.
He was employed by International Business Machines Corp.
In May 27, 1942 he enlisted to the air corps.
He attended Air Mechanics School at Keesler Field, Miss.
He is a graduated of the Flexible Gunnery School at Harlingen, TX.
After final training in Oct 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
His last mission, March 26, target: Watten , France.
They were hit by flak over Pas de Calais and exploded.
He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal
In 1944, when Ivan died on the age of 22 he left behind his family :
His father, Herman Lee, age 44
His mother, Torrence Lee, age 42
His sister, Beatrice Lee, age 18
Mission to Watten, France, operation " Crossbow " (Nazi rocket sites), just before bomb run, plane was hit by flak.
Chrashed near Bouquemaison, France.
It was on Sunday morning, March 26, 1944, the crew was called to an early briefing.
L - R, back row: Michael R. Walsh - William M. Rumsey - Donald B. Roberts - Lt. Colonel White.
L - R Front row: Harold S. Arnold - William W. Carter - Irving I. Lieberman - IVAN R. LEE.
The target was Pas de Calais, france and the V-1 installlations from which the Germans launched their
rocket attacks on Britain.
It was considered a mild run as serious opposition was seldom encountered recently.
The crew crossed the channel and headed towards the Initial Point.
No fighters were in sight, and no flak had been seen.
It was just as the crew were starting on the bomb run that it happened.
A shell exploded suddenly inside the plane behind the pilot.
A single burst of flak had hit them squarly.
The plane immediately went out of control and according to eyewitnesses from other planes, the plane
flew upside down and backwards through the formation.
The plane began to disintregate, wings, engines, etc, breaking off.
Two crew members bailed out just before the plane exploded.
A French men, J. Yaequemelle, found the bodies of the eight men, no chutes were open.
Ivan obviously died before coming to earth.
He was requisitioned to take a wagon and two horses and to take the dead soldiers to the cemetery of
their village, Bouquemaison, Somme, Picardie, France
Ivan and his mates were buried side by side in their uniforms.
On June 10, 1945 the bodies of the eight airmen were exhumed by American forces to be buried in
a military cemetry.
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