top of page

Donald H. Kitzman Biography-3: Shot Down over Germany

Holux - Kitzman - B17 Shot Down.jpg
Holux - Kitzman - Russell Brown gravemar

Disastrous Attack on Merseburg Germany Nov 2, 1944

“The 91st BG experienced its worst loss of the war during this period on 2 November 1944, when it attacked the I.G. Farbenindustrie A.G. synthetic oil plant at Leuna, southeast of Merseburg, Germany. Suffering several losses to intense flak, for which this target was notorious, the 91st found itself isolated from the bomber stream at the division rally point, where it was attacked by large numbers of Fw 190A-R8 sturm fighters of IV./JG 3. In all, thirteen B-17s of the 91st were shot down out of 37 dispatched and half of the remainder suffered major battle damage. 49 of the 117 crewmen aboard the Fortresses were killed and the remainder captured.”

Co-pilot Kitzman’s B-17 was one of the planes shot down on this raid -- his 28th mission over Germany. Six members of the crew were killed in the crash; Kitzman and two other crewmen (Ray Rietschel & Fred Boettke) were captured and were held as Nazi POWs for the remainder of the war.  Pilot Russell Brown was buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Lemay, MO; the names of his fellow killed crew members are carved on his tombstone

Book no.1
bottom of page