Sunday, November 13, 2011
Relative or not, SGT Aurie's family should be proud of his career. Always a tragedy when our servicemembers don't come home.
After a little research on Ancestry, I discovered that SGT Aurie enlisted in the Army Air Corps from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 15OCT1942 as a Private. He was born in 1923, was 70 inches tall and weighed 178 pounds. His service number was 16132239.
The clipping, like many in my scrapbook, lack publication information, so there's no date for his death. Looking at some online family trees (and taking them with a large dash of salt), he is listed as having been born on 23JAN1923. His date of death would have been January 1944. Just short of his 21st birthday. Now the clipping I have states that he was reported missing on January 11th (1944), and the family trees I found with him in them both had his date of death as January 1st, 1944. So a heavy dash of salt with that date of death!
When conducting a quick Google search I came across an extremely well-written page about SGT Howard Chantelaine. SGT Chantelaine was the ball turret gunner on the same B17 that SGT Aurie was on. The webpage (here) gave details about the plane crash as described by the only survivor, 2LT Lloyd Crabtree. The mission being flown was to an aircraft factory in Halberstadt and was described on the site as "one of the fiercest air battles of Europe" and that just before the plane was shot down, SGT Aurie reported he had just shot down a plane (an ME210). The webpage is well worth the read.
Thank you for your service, SGT Aurie (and the entire crew of that B17)!
"Sgt. Leander Aurie Killed In Action
Sgt. Leander Aurie, 20, reported missing over Germany Jan. 11, was killed in action, according to a report received from German sources by the International Red Cross. The news was telegraphed to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Aurie, 1275 Day street, by the War department, A requiem mass will be said in SS. Peter and Paul church at 9:30 Monday morning.
Sgt. Aurie was waist gunner on a Flying Fortress, and also served as armorer. He had been in England since last November, and was home on furlough last August. A graduate of East High school in the class of 1941, he was employed in the Four Wheel Drive plant, Clintonville, at the time of his enlistment in the fall of 1942. He attended armorer's school at Lowry Field, Colo., and won his gunner's wings at Las Vegas, Nev., after which he joined the Flying Fortress unit at Geiger Field, Wash.,
He parents and two younger sisters, Ina Mae and Shirley Ann, survive."