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Discussion in 'All Hands Club & Canteen Discussion Area' started by one1, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. one1

    one1 Member

    I am searching for information, with little luck, on SPERBER, Harold P. 1Lt O-718445 and BROOM, John C.
    1Lt O-887009.
    Both men were assigned to the 487BG-836BS. There plan was shot down on 24 Dec 1944 and is shown on
    MACR 11559. The MACR does not provide much info and even less for Broom and Sperber and for some reason I cannot get it to print or download from Fold3.
    Does anyone have information on these 2 men? I have gone to Ancestry, WWII Memorial etc and have been unable to find any helpful info. Also, does anyone have a copy of the MACR then can send me?
    I would have posted this on the 487 page but it shows no posts.
  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    The story of the loss here. The plane was 43-37569 not 43-37589 as on fold3.


    Broom tells his story in this book. Go forward 6 pages from the start of the book, then click on Broom's name. The page that comes up has his photo and his story starts on the following page.


    Here is Broom's class book (see page 23). He was from Slidell, LA.

    BMBazooka and 25Kingman49 like this.
  3. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Informative findagrave page for 1st Lt. Cuno Vernal Becker (flying tail gunner / observer http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=83707939

    43-37569 Del Cheyenne 30/4/44; Kearney 11/5/44; Grenier 27/5/44; Ass 836BS/487BG [2G-P] Lavenham 30/5/44; 839BS [R5-P]; MIA Darmstadt 24/12/44 w/Ira Ball, Gordon Tomea, Warren Parks, Bob Lull, Duffy Gaudin, John Conery (6KIA); Harry Sperber, John Broom, Cuno Becker (3RTD) e/a, cr Hods, Bel. MACR 11559.
    B-17G-65-BO-43-37569 (487th BG, 836th BS) lost Dec 24, 1944. MACR 11559.

    Four pertinent pages of MACR 11559 attached as requested.

    1st Lt. Harold P Sperber, Navigator interview content; learns in 1999 Lt. Broom survived too here http://fsuarchon.fcla.edu/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=3641&q=&rootcontentid=101694 search Sperber, Harold (sorry, looks like this may be pay to view; interview not loading for me)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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  4. one1

    one1 Member

    Thanks Guys, really appreciate your responses. They help answer a lot of questions.
  5. one1

    one1 Member

    Airwar, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately Harry Sperber is not who I am searching for, I am looking for info on
    Harold P. Sperber.
  6. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Harold P Sperber was commissioned at Selman Field, class of 44-05, flight 56. Unfortunately that class book is not available on the aafcollection.info site. Someone is trying to sell the book on ebay for $249. A little out of my price range.
  7. one1

    one1 Member

    It is strange that neither one of these men is shown on the WWII Memorial and I cannot find where they are buried.
  8. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    There appears to be a John Charles Broom, age 95 living in Slidell, LA. I will PM (conversation) you an address and phone number if you want to followup.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    one1 likes this.
  9. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Not really. The listing at the WWII Memorial web site includes people from government data bases who were KIA based on the NARA listing, buried at an ABMC cemetery or listed on the Tablet of the Missing at an ABMC cemetery.
    Beyond that the listings are user generated and a person would only be listed if a friend, family member, or other interested party took the time to create a listing. So if a person is not in the first three categories it is a random chance that you might find them at that site.
  10. one1

    one1 Member

    I have a 90% success rate with the WW II Memorial
  11. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    If the person you are looking for is in one of the three 'automatic' categories you theoretically should have a 100% success rate. But for those who lived to come home I've never had better than about a 40% success rate.
  12. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Jaap, I think the Harold Sperber from Sandusky (Port Clinton) is not the correct Sperber. There is an earlier Sandusky paper which talks about "the Sandusky" Harold Sperber getting his pilot wings at Douglas Field AZ, on Feb 6, 1943. I am quite sure, based on serial numbers, that the Sperber we want was commissioned at Selman Field in 1944.

    A "possible" route, (maybe appealing to the Christmas season ;-), would be to ask the person selling the Selman 44-05 book on ebay if he would just look in the book and give us the hometown of Harold P Sperber.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    Airwar likes this.
  13. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    It appears Sperber folded his wings http://www.487thbg.org/487thTaps.shtml Harold P. Sperber 3-Jun-13, reported by grandson, Jason Sperber. Sadly no additional information, there is an email contact link at the bottom of this page http://www.487thbg.org/maybe they can help more LCH_NH@comcast.net probably more for website comments. "They" are also on Face Book, contact might be made there.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  14. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    In addition to the find-a-grave link for Lt Becker posted above by Kingman here is a link for Lt Tomea of the same crew. Both of these items were posted by Paul Webber, secretary of the 487th BG Association. He can be contacted through find-a grave, his email address is shown on his profile page. Or perhaps through the 487th association. He might have contact information regarding Jason Sperber or a means of coming up with the obituary, or both. He also refers to a memorial to this crew in Aywaille, Belgium that was erected by this organization, http://www.aywaille.be/WEBSITE/BEFR/02/SitesTouristiques07.php

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  15. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    garbfink, BMBazooka and Airwar like this.
  16. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    More FB recon snooping yielded a Lt Ira L. Ball crew photo during ZI training (Lt. John C Broom, not included). Photo was initially provided by Jason Sperber without caption except position of his grandfather.

    Paul Webber comment: This photo is published in 'The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H)' by Ivo de Jong. It was provided by a relative of Lt Tomea, the copilot. The caption is:

    Lt Ira L. Ball crew.jpg
    The crew of Lt Ira L. Ball during training in the United States (left to right): Back row: Morris Maizel (engineer), Lyle A. Harris (waist gunner), Chester M. Ryan (tail gunner), Walton F. Otto (gunner), and Robert W. Lull (radio operator). Front row: Gordon R. Tomea Jr. (co pilot), Harold J. Sperber (navigator), James W. Henry (bombardier), and Ira L. Ball (pilot). On December 24 Lull, Tomea, Sperber, and Ball were flying in B-17G 43- 37569. Sperber was one of only two crew members who survived. [Gordon Tomea]

    A reminder of the Ball crew at the time of loss on 24 December 1944. Highlighted red are original crew in photo to those on this 24 Dec 44 mission.
    (P) 1st Lt. Ira L Ball
    (CP) 1st Lt. Gordon R Tomea Jr,
    (B) 1st Lt. John C Broom
    (N) 1st Lt. Harold P Sperber
    (ROG) T/Sgt. Robert H Lull
    (ETTG) T/Sgt. Warren H Parks
    (BTG) S/Sgt. Duffy J Gaudin
    (TG, Observer) 1st Lt. Cuno V Becker
    (WG) S/Sgt. John J Conery

    Lt Harold P Sperber
    Lt Harold P Sperber.jpg

    Also, if it helps a GEarth overview of the Ball crew crash site. Sorry about the red lined area (ruff containment area battle of the bulge - work in progress hunting my dad's 8AD movements)
    Ball crew 43-37586.jpg
    Close-up of the crash site. It is not exactly clear what the coordinates of the Ball crew memorial might be, but somewhere on the river bank.
    Ball crew 43-37586 close-up.jpg

    For those interested 'The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H)' by Ivo de Jong is still available https://www.amazon.com/487th-Bomb-Group-Ivo-Jong/dp/1630269735 might make a nice Holiday gift.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  17. Jason Sperber

    Jason Sperber New Member

    Hi, I am Jason Sperber. My grandfather was Harold P. Sperber. He passed away back June 11th, 2013 at the age of 91. If you would like to reach out to me to discuss this, you may get in touch with me at my email address Jsperber635@gmail.com. I have these three post war photos too. Please see attached.

    Attached Files:

    garbfink, BMBazooka, Airwar and 2 others like this.
  18. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the AAF forum Jason!

    Thank you for joining in and sharing more photos. If you love the AAF as our members do you have found a friendly home, welcome aboard.

    Can you share more information about your grandfather after the crash and his return to the United States with continued AAF service until discharged? Where is he interned, sorry for your loss (our loss).

    Merely a security suggestion. You may wish to redact your email address from your first post (at the bottom of your own posts is an edit function). This forum has a method of private messages called "conversations" where you can privately and securely share your email address with members wishing further connection with you directly.

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  19. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Yes, welcome aboard Jason. We aren't usaully this lucky to have a physical connection to the person being researched. Any chance your grandfather maintained a diary of his time in the service?

    FYI, almost forgot. Appreciate your offer of email but we prefer to do this out in the open. There are a half a dozen people who are participating in this conversation plus countless others who are watching from the sidelines. This thread has had over 200 hits.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    BMBazooka and 25Kingman49 like this.
  20. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Jason, welcome. Looks like my Facebook message got through. (I really don't like Facebook, but sometimes the messaging actually works. My success rate is about 30% )
    25Kingman49 likes this.

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