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Lauten William L.

Name:
William L. Lauten
Rank:
Second Lieutenant
Serial Number:
O-709409
Unit:
704th Bomber Squadron, 446th Bomb Group, Heavy
Date of Death:
0000-00-00
State:
Illinois
Cemetery:
Plot:
Row:
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2nd Lt William L. Lauten, navigator of the B-24 Liberator 42-109830 “Daisy Mae Scraggs”, took off from station 125 Bungay, Suffolk, UK on a bombing mission over Granville. The aircraft’s engines were in need of maintenance and its crew was “flak happy” and replete with officers who had never met. The weather also conspired against them, enabling only seven bombers to fly to the secondary target, Granville, as the primary was obstructed by clouds. Turning off the bomb run over Granville, they came under attack by Me-109s. The plane’s flight deck caught fire. With no one to put it out and the fire spreading to the bomb bay, the pilot ordered the crew to bail out but stayed on to level the plane off. Lauten jumped into the sea and was rescued by locals from the island who sheltered him along with four of his crew members. A German patrol found them the next day. He was sent to Stalag Luft 1 in Barth-Vogelsang.