Leroy Harold Cole was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of  Prentiss William Franklin Cole and Lillie C. Lamb. Husband of Bertha Evelyn Needham.

Featured picture is of Leroy and wife Evelyn Cole at Halls Crossroads, TN. Courtesy of nephew Larry Cole.

Aircraft B-17G with serial number 43-38423 departed from Cromer on a strategic mission to Misburg, Germany. At 1143 the aircraft was hit by direct flak and left the formation and jettisoned the bombs. No. 1 and No. 2 engines were feathered with no. 2 engine on fire. Flames were observed coming from the open bomb bays. The aircraft made a 180 degree turn heading northwest. It was last seen in a left hand spiral at 10,000 feet. Two bodies were seen to fall from the aircraft, however no chutes were seen. The aircraft crashed at 1150 at Ruhwarden i. Oldenburg, near the Tossener Deich, 1 km northeast of Wilhelmshaven. According to a crewmember Sgt Cole bailed out through the waist door, but his chute was not seen by other crew members, and it is assumed that it did not open.

Crew members
Pilot, 2nd Lt Clarence C. Sproul
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Austin E. Fryer
Navigator, 2nd Lt Rex H. Martin
Bombardier, 2nd Lt William F. Flanigan
Radio Operator, Sgt Leroy H. Cole
Engineer Gunner, Sgt Guilford G. Spence
Ball Gunner, Sgt Joseph P. Krystof
Tail Gunner, Sgt Fred Y. Le Master
Togglier, Sgt Alan D. Siemsen

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, O, 17, 14.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, January 22, 1945
Sgt. LeRoy Cole, 332 Castle Street, has been reported missing in action over Germany since Dec. 31, his wife, Mrs. Evelyn N. Cole has learned. In the service since February, 1943, Sgt. Cole is a radio operator and waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. He has been overseas  three months. He is a graduate of KHS and was formerly employed in the Maps and Surveys Division of TVA at Fontana Dam. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. P.F. Cole, Ball Camp Pike, Route 7.

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 1 August 1917
  • Date of death: 31 December 1944
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville, TN
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 391st Bomber Squadron, 34th Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VIII, Middle Panel
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