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World War II Honor Roll

Burton Wilson Seely

Second Lieutenant
U.S. Army Air Forces

O-695977

349th Bomber Squadron
100th Bomber Group, Heavy

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: May 24, 1944
Buried at: Plot D Row 17 Grave 21
Ardennes American Cemetery
Neupre, Belgium
Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster


SECOND LIEUTENANT BURTON WILSON SEELY was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Walter Seely of 12 East Bettlewood Avenue in Oaklyn NJ. His mother was a teacher in the Oaklyn school system. Burton completed junior high school there, and went on to graduate from Collingswood (NJ) High School in 1936.

Burton Seely entered the Army in July of 1941. He originally served in the Medical Corps, but was eventually transferred to the Air Corps, and was trained as a navigator, in Texas and other places in the USA. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he was sent overseas in the early spring of 1944. Based in Thorpe Abbot, England, he had flown 18 missions, and was awarded the Air Medal on April 26, 1944.

On May 24, 1944 Burton Seely and his crew were on a mission to bomb Berlin, Germany. His plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and exploded when a second shell hit the aircraft, over the small city of Berkenthin in Northern Germany.

Burton Wilson Seely was survived by his parents, and by a brother, Richard Seely, who was serving in the Marines.


Burton W. Seely was the navigator of the crew led by First Lieutenant Henry N. Jesperson. This crew joined the 349th Bomber Squadron on March 3rd, 1944, and they generally flew on a B-17 (Number 42-102528) nicknamed Times A Wastin'. On their 18th mission, May 24th, 1944, this crew participated in a raid on Berlin, Germany. This plane along with eight others did not return that day. Lt. Seely, along with four others of his crew, was killed, and the rest made prisoner by German military authorities, according to MACR report 05169.


Henry N. Jespersen crew (left to right)

Standing: Frank Gronkowsky, Radio Operator; George Kostoulakos, Engineer; 
Robert Atkins, Co-Pilot; Henry Neil Jesperson, Pilot; Burton Seely, Navigator.
Kneeling: Frank Fisher, Ball Turret Gunner; John Durrenberger, Tail Gunner; John Legg, Armorer and Waist Gunner; Thomas Kiriako, Waist Gunner. Inset is the Bombardier, Joseph Savino. Joe probably took the original picture and later someone added what looks like a school photo of Joe.

1st Lt Henry N. Jespersen Pilot POW 24-May-45 Berlin
2nd Lt Robert F. Atkins Co-Pilot POW 24-May-45 Berlin
2nd Lt Burton W. Seely NAVIGATOR KIA 24-May-45 Berlin
2nd Lt Joseph Savino Bombardier POW 24-May-45 Berlin
S/Sgt George Kostoulakos Top Turret Gunner /
Engineer
POW 24-May-45 Berlin
S/Sgt Frank J. Gronkowski Radio Operator / Gunner KIA 24-May-45 Berlin
Sgt Frank Fischer Ball Turret Gunner KIA 24-May-45 Berlin
Sgt Thomas T. Kiriako Right Waist Guner KIA 24-May-45 Berlin
Sgt John E. Legg Left Waist Gunner POW 24-May-45 Berlin
Sgt John J. Durrenberger Tail Gunner KIA 24-May-45 Berlin

Mission List supplied by John E. Legg:
Targets and spellings are exactly as written - some may vary from USAAF target data. This is normal as most crews bombing Orly Field in Paris would list Paris in personal accounts, etc.
1 16-Mar-44 Augsburg, Germany
2 19-Mar-44 Calais, France
3 28-Mar-44 Chateau, France
4 1-Apr-44 Belgium
5 11-Apr-44 Rostock, Germany
6 12-Apr-44 Belgium
7 13-Apr-44 Augsburg, Germany
8 19-Apr-44 Lippstadt, Germany
9 20-Apr-44 Abbeville, France
10 22-Apr-44 Hamm, Germany
11 24-Apr-44 Friedrichafen, Germany
12 1-May-44 St Omar, France
13 7-May-44 Berlin, Germany
14 11-May-44 Liege, Belgium
15 12-May-44 Brux, Czechoslovakia
16 20-May-44 Brussels, Belgium
17 23-May-44 Troyes, France
18 24-May-44 Berlin, Germany



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