65 – Robert W. Combs age 21 (November 23, 1921 – November 11, 1943)
2Lt. Robert Walker Combs
November 23, 1921 – November 11, 1943
Robert Walker Combs was born at November 23, 1921 at Locust Grove, Henry County in the state of Georgia. His father was Woodfin G. Combs and his mother Ruth E. Walker. He also had a brother Woodfin G. Combs. In 1933 he left primary school and entered the high school which he completed in 1938. He started working in a furniture store as a prospective salesman. He lived in Muscogee County, Georgia. At the beginning of 1942 he enlisted in the American Air Force (USAAF) and followed various training courses. Early September 1943 he went to England where he was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 94th Bomber Group (Heavy), 331st Bomber Squadron. He was assigned as navigator to a B-17 Flying Fortress. On November 11, 1943, the crew of the B-17 with registration number 42-39868, including 2/Lt. Combs, was ordered to attack the city of Munster in Germany with 560 bombers. After the briefing, the plane took off from the R.A.F. base Bury Saint Edmund towards Germany. They arrived at the goal via the North Sea and the middle of Germany. They dropped their bombs and returned to home base. However, above the Hoeksche Waard the aircraft was attacked by three German fighter planes. The plane was hit and the left engine failed. Moments later, the entire plane was riddled. The pilot gave the order to abandon the plane, but it broke into two pieces and the front part was on fire. The pieces of the aircraft landed in the Molenpolder close to the old harbor in Numansdorp. Four crew members had left the aircraft, three of which were taken prisoner. 2/Lt. Combs landed in the Hollandsch Diep close to Numansdorp and his body is still missing. His name is mentioned on the “Wall of missing” at the entrance of the American cemetery in Margraten Limburg.