Geschichte der
B-17 #42-31408

Delivered Cheyenne 31/10/43; Gr Island 12/11/43; Nashville 19/11/43; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-Z] Podington 27/12/43; Missing in Action Merkwiller, Fr. 3/8/44 with Neil Curtiss {325bs} (Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Bob Blanton, Navigator: George Chester, Bombardier: Gene Hamblin, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Earl Haun, Radio Operator: Jim Schafer, Ball turret gunner: Dick Anthony, Waist gunner: Bill Murray,Tail gunner: Bill Damian (8 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, crashed Brulange, near Metz, Fr; Missing Air Crew Report 7698.

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  1. von Jay Tischendorf am 28. Januar 2018 16:43 Uhr

    Neil was the older brother of Bob Curtiss, to whom my mom’s step-sister Pat was married. The brothers grew up in Kent, Ohio and were the only children of Carl and Della Curtiss. Bob enlisted as an infantryman in WWII and was killed in Italy. With confirmation of Neil’s death, Mr. and Mrs. Curtiss joined the ranks of parents who tragically lost all their children in the war.
    Although Aunt Pat remarried after the war, we always considered her deceased husband Bob an uncle. Our family – my siblings and I – grew up in Kent hearing stories of, and honoring, both of these men. Based on these stories I am reasonably certain that at the time of its downing, Neil as pilot was able to control the aircraft, Miss Liberty Belle, long and capably enough for the co-pilot and all 7 other crewmen to safely exit. All except Neil survived and apparently were held as POWs. It is also my understanding that eventually all of these men returned to Kent to visit Mr. and Mrs. Curtiss and pay respect to Neil for saving their lives. Online I once found a graphic description of the crash site, as found by German military, which confirmed the fate of Neil, who for some time after the crash was considered MIA. The description included mention of his terribly burned body within the wreckage, and, as I recall, still strapped into his harness and seat. I recollect also that this online account reported that the remnant’s of Neil’s wallet was found with the charred remains and confirmed his identity. His remains, along with those of Bob, were eventually returned to Kent together. Some detail of the Curtiss brothers can be found on the Find-A-Grave website by searching for “ Lieut Neil LeRoy Curtiss“. This information includes mention of a „soon to be published“ book entitled „Mission to Merkwiller and the Last Flight of Miss Liberty Belle“, by Ian White. I have yet to see this book or confirm its publication anywhere online, but in roughly 2008 I exchanged emails with a gentleman in the U.K. who was investigating Neil’s story. At the time I recounted to the best of my ability what I knew of he and his brother Bob. It is worth mentioning that the Curtiss family house lies prominently on a high point along Main Street in Kent, Ohio and became the President’s residence for Kent State University. I should also note that the brothers are buried with their parents at Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent. There are many other casualties of WW II there as well, including a gravestone for famed Marine Colonel and posthumous Medal of Honor winner Frank Goettge „(get-chee“), who was killed in a Japanese ambush at Guadalcanal leading what is known as the Lost Patrol. His body was never recovered. There is also a MOH winner from the Civil War buried at Standing Rock. Every Memorial Day for most of his adult life my step-dad, Jerry Wiland, a WW II navy veteran, would place American flags on the graves of veterans there at the cemetery.


    • von Simon am 31. Mai 2019 19:16 Uhr

      Hello Jay, can you send me an email ? I have GRS dog tag of Neil CURTISS and I research more information about this hero.
      The tag is graved curtiss neill l. 0-695157
      Regards, Simon.


      • von am 31. Mai 2019 19:31 Uhr

        Hello Simon, I send an email to Jay and informed him about you comment. Hope you will get a reply.

        Kind regards


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