Christopherson, Robert L., T/Sgt

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Last Rank
Technical Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
AAF MOS 749-Airplane Mechanic-Gunner, Flight Engineer
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, AAF MOS 749, USAAF 5th Air Force/43rd Bombardment Group
Service Years
1940 - 1943

Technical Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Ken Logue-Deceased to remember Christopherson, Robert L., T/Sgt.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Blue Earth, Minnesota
Last Address
Naughty But Nice Engineer

Casualty Date
Jun 26, 1943
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Papua New Guinea
WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Papua Campaign (1942-43)
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Honorably Discharged WW II

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

AAF Flight Engineer Badge

 Unit Assignments
USAAF 5th Air Force
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 749, USAAF 5th Air Force/43rd Bombardment Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1943 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Papua Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)
  1943-1943 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Northern Solomons Campaign (1943-44)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
SSgt. Chrisopherson enlisted from Mankato, Minnesota on 4 October 1940. He had graduated from Marshall High School, St. Paul, Minnesota the previous June.

In the PTO, he was a gunner aboard B-17E (tail number 41-2430), "Naughty but Nice" serving with the 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron, 5th Air Force at Dobodura Air Field,  Papua New Guniea .

On 26 June 1943, he along with his crew of 9 other men were on a bombing mission over  Rabaul, Papau New Guinea.  The aircraft was damaged by anti-aircraft fire and ultimately shot down by Japanese fighter aircraft over New Britain. Also shot down was
B-17F "Taxpayer's Pride" 41-24448.

A tenth man, the navigator and only survivor of the crash—2nd Lt. Jose L. Holguin—was held as a prisoner of war until his release in September 1945.

Crew lost:
1st Lt. William J. Sarsfield, Jr. (P)
2nd Lt. Charles E. Trimingham, (CP)
1st Lt. Francis G. Peattie, (B)
1st Lt. Jose L. Holguin, (N) (POW, survived)
2nd Lt. Herman H. Knott, (Asst. B)
T/Sgt Robert L. Christopherson, (FE)
S/Sgt Henry Garcia,(Asst. FE)
T/Sgt Leonard A. Gionet, (Radio)
S/Sgt Robert E. Griebel, (Asst Radio)
S/Sgt Pace P. Payne, (G)

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William J. Sarsfield, 25, of Philadelphia; 2nd Lt. Charles E.
Trimingham, 23, of Salinas, Calif.; Tech. Sgt. Robert L. Christopherson, 21, of Blue Earth, Minn.;Tech. Sgt. Leonard A. Gionet, 30, of Shirley, Mass., will be buried as a group in a single casket on Sept. 21 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., along with remains
representing previously identified crew members 2nd Lt. Herman H. Knott, 2nd Lt. Francis G.
Peattie, Staff Sgt. Henry Garcia, Staff Sgt. Robert E. Griebel, and Staff Sgt. Pace P. Payne, who were individually buried in 1985.

Following World War II, in 1949, U.S. military personnel in the area were led by local
citizens to a B-17 crash site on New Britain Island. Remains were recovered but couldn’t be
identified given the technology of the time. The remains were buried as unknown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In 1982 and 1983, Holguin returned to the area and located the crash site. A fragment of
the aircraft nose art was recovered and is displayed in the War Museum in Kokopo, P.N.G. In
1985, the remains were exhumed and identified as Knott, Payne, Garcia, Peattie, and Griebel.

In 2001, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavated the site and found additional human remains and crew-related equipment
see links

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 14590  
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