58 – Roy W. East age 22 (November 3, 1921 – November 5, 1943)
Sgt. Roy Weldon East
November 3, 1921 – November 5, 1943
Roy W. East was born in Cadwell, Kentucky. His father was Henry F. East and his mother Susie M. Walder-East. He also had a brother R. C. East and a brother Robert F. East. His grandmother was Lara H. East and his great grandfather William D. Lawery. In 1933 he left primary school and attended high school which he completed in 1938. He went to work as a prospective salesman in a supermarket. He lived in Danaldon Cadwell Kentucky. In mid-1942 he enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAAF) and took various training courses. Early 1943 he went to England where he was assigned to the 8 st bomber command, 535 bomber squadron, 381 bomber group (heavy). He was assigned as a radio operator in a B 17F Flying Fortres. On November 5, 1943, the crew of the B 17 with registration number 42-30652 named “Blowing Bessie”, where sgt. East belonged to the order to launch an attack on the city of Gelsenkirchen in Germany with another 721 bombers. After the briefing, the aircraft took off from the base towards Germany. They arrived at the goal via the North Sea and the middle of Germany. They dropped their bombs but were hit by heavy anti-aircraft guns. The left engine was hit and was unusable. The pilot was hit in the leg and the co-pilot took over the lead. The aircraft went back to base but lost more and more height. It could also no longer follow the formation and hit alone. Near Breda it was attacked by a German fighter plane and caught fire from the center to the tailpiece. As the plane could no longer be saved, the co-pilot ordered the crew to jump out of the plane. Four of the ten crew members succeeded, but Roy East, among others, failed and was still on the plane when it landed in the Hollands Diep near Strijen sas. To date his body has not been found and his name is mentioned on the “Wall of Missing” which is located at the entrance of the American cemetery in Margraten in Limburg.