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Coleman Goldstein

Goldstein Coleman
Second Lieutenant
Serial Number:
327th Bomber Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group
Date of Death:

Coleman Goldstein was born on December 23, 1920, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During World War II, he was a B-17 pilot with the 327th Bomb Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group.

On December 31, 1943, he and his crew took off from Podington Airfield (near Rushden, England) to bomb the Bordeaux-Merignac Airfield near Bordeaux, France. Just after their B-17 (#42-3186) dropped its bombs, it came under attack by German fighters. The fighters took out all four engines. Goldstein controlled the plane into a belly landing in a farm field near Bordeaux. All crew survived, but four were captured. The other six, including 2Lt Goldstein, made it back to England with the help of French partisans. He was returned to the UK on March 26, 1944.

After the war, Goldstein was flight school instructor in Philadelphia and a friend of fellow instructor Phil Marmelstein. In early 1948, he had read of the Haganah's attempts to resupply besieged settlements with convoys and of the ambushes that the convoys faced. Goldstein felt his experience could help establish a safer air cargo operation, so he sought out a Haganah recruiter and volunteered his services. He told his plan to Marmelstein, who decided to accompany him.

He flew aircraft for Israel before joining the fighter squadron, and ferried a Norseman with co-pilot Eddie Cohen from Italy to Sde Dov on May 3. Another Norseman on that mission was flown by Lou Lenart and Milt Rubenfeld. By the next day, he was flying air resupply missions to the Etzion Block settlements. Goldstein was awed by the scale of the land - he was used to flying hours to a target over Europe - and by the realization that he as a single individual mattered. In Europe, he was but one of a seemingly infinite pool of airmen.

Goldstein transferred out of 101 Squadron to the Operations Department at Air HQ before the end of June.

Later in the war, Goldstein was a liason in Jerusalem area, crashed a plane, and spent months in hospital. After the war, he worked for El Al as a pilot and flew with them for 35 years.

Source of information:,