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Execution of WWII Air Crews - "Terror Flyers" Robert L. Stricker


billl
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Looking for info.

 

13 February 1945 B-17#48163 of 772nd Bomb Sq/463rd Bomb Gp 15th was shot down over Austria. Four of the six who parachuted were executed, in part by Blauensteiner, Franz, who was later tried for war crimes in an Austrian court. One of the men was Lt. Robert Stricker, a distant relative of mine.

 

I know a bit about the aircraft and downing, but am more interested in what happened afterwards.

 

I have Strickers WWII file.

 

Someone on this forum offered to get me info on the court case, but he disappeared from the forum.

 

 

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Backtheattack

There is a book "Widerstand und Verfolgung im Burgenland" in which this is documented. In german language:

„Um die Mittagszeit des 14. Februar 1945 wurde im Reichsarbeitsdienstlager (RAD- Lager) bekannt, dass ein amerikanischer Flieger am Waldrand des Tiergartens gesichtet worden sei. […] Im RAD- Lager angekommen, standen die vorgesetzten RAD- Führer, Oberstfeldmeister Seidel, Oberfeldmeister Krone, und andere Unterführer im Hof herum. Oberfeldmeister Krone versetzte dem ergriffenen Flieger einen Schlag ins Gesicht. Der Oberstfeldmeister Seidel beschimpfte den Haupttruppführer Hofbauer, weil er den amerikanischen Flieger ins Lager brachte, und sagte dem Sinne nach wie folgt: „Sie sind blöd, bringen da den Flieger her, damit wir noch mehr Arbeit haben, hättet ihr ihn gleich umgelegt.“ Oberstfeldmeister Seidel erteilte dem Haupttruppenführer Hofbauer den Befehl, den eingebrachten Flieger mit den RAD- Vormännern Reisinger und Blauensteiner aus dem Lager zu führen und außerhalb desselben zu erschießen. […] Der Erschossene wurde in den im Wald verlaufenden Panzergraben getragen. Dort haben nun der Haupttruppenführer Hofbauer und die beiden Vormänner Reisinger und Blauensteiner dem Toten einen Ring, die Armbanduhr und die Schuhe abgenommen und für sich behalten. Dieser amerikanische Flieger war ca. 25 Jahre alt, 170 cm groß, braune Haare, soll Navigationsoffizier und im Zivilberuf Ingenieur gewesen sein.“

(Aus: Widerstand und Verfolgung im Burgenland 1934 – 1945; S.415, 1983 Wien)

Book title in englisch "Resistance and persecution in the Burgenland (this is an area in Austria)". Blauenstein was a member of the RAD. If you need I will translate the short description of the war crime.

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Interesting. I researched a B-24 crew that went down on the 14th near Vienna, Austria. There is one guy unaccounted for who bailed out and he was a navigator. I always assumed he was killed on the ground.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back the attack: yes, a translation would be much appreciated. I did a quick google translate, but obviously that's of limited utility.

 

Yes, I have the missing aircrew report, and interviews with other air crews about what they saw, etc. That was included in my FOIA request on Stricker.

 

Would especially appreciate info on the trial, if it's out there someplace.

 

Thanks to all who responded.

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  • 11 months later...

His obituary notice

https://old.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=stricker&GSfn=robert&GSdy=1945&GRid=42292529&

 

Circumstances of 1945 shot down

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=65233&hilit=robert+stricker&start=15

 

Several years ago there was a website that included this planes lost and crew bios.however it doesn't appear to exist anymore!

 

However there is a website including his old squadron..found his name sent in same info as above

 

http://463bg.org/

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According to a 1974 New York Times article Blaunsteiner was found not guilty because he was under 18 at the time. He was elected to the Vienna City Council in 1975.

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  • 3 years later...
On 1/11/2017 at 4:26 PM, 38Driver said:

Interesting. I researched a B-24 crew that went down on the 14th near Vienna, Austria. There is one guy unaccounted for who bailed out and he was a navigator. I always assumed he was killed on the ground.

Interesting. Can you share his name? Sure it's a different crew?  Mine is:  B-17#48163 of 772nd Bomb Sq/463rd Bomb Gp 15th

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  • 1 year later...

Does anyone know how to get war crime trial records out of Austria?  Blaunsteiner was convicted of a war crime, served a short time in prison, and was then pardoned.

 

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