Samuel Franklin Hanssard was born on 15 March 1917 at Chattanooga, Tenn. to Samuel Franklin Hanssard and Augusta “Gussie” Margaret Carr.
Died 22 July 1944

Second Lieutenant
455th Bomber Group, 741st Bomber Squadron Heavy, 15th Air Force

Aircraft B-24H with serial number 42-95328 departed from San Giovanni Field on an Operational Mission to Ploesti, Rumania. The aircraft collided with another plane of the formation and crashed 30 km south of Tirana. Sgt Hodson was the only survivor.

Statement from Arthur A. Miller
At about 1410 hours, I looked out the waist window in time to see the two planes crash in mid-air. Plane No. 328 was underneath the other plane and trying to evade the plane above. The top plane dropped suddenly on 328 breaking both planes in half. I saw three chutes emerge from one of the planes but was unable to see from which plane they emerged. I saw the planes crash and burn upon inpact with the ground.

Crew members
Pilot, 2nd Lt Samuel F. Hanssard
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Norman E. List Jr.
Navigator, 2nd Lt Arnold D. Luxenberg
Bombardier, 2nd Lt Marion A. Wilson
Radio Operator/Gunner, Sgt Cline M. Hodson
Engineer/Gunner, Sgt Louis H. Wente
Armorer/Gunner, S/Sgt George W. Linco
Armorer/Gunner, Sgt James L. Knittle
Aerial/Gunner, Sgt Stanley R. Sheldon
Aerial Gunner, PFC Frank T. Kilbane Sr.

The Chattanooga Daily Times, 24 June 1945
Missing and now listed dead in Europe was First Lt. Samuel F. Hanssard, son of Mrs. Augusta Margaret Hanssard, 724 Battery Place. A graduate of Chattanooga High School in 1935, Lt. Hanssard reported missing in a B-24 mission over Yugoslavia last July, was said to have been killed when his plane and another of the formation collided in the air. The information was contained in a letter to Mrs. Hanssard from Sgt. Cllinton M. Hodson, radio operator aboard Lt. Hanssard’s plane, who bailed out from an escape hatch, at which time he said he saw the plane, one of which the Chattanoogan was piloting, collide. Sgt. Hodson was captured by the Germans and was recently liberated. Lt. Hanssard was a cadet major of the ROTC at Chattanooga High School during his senior year and was one of the city’s best know young men. He began army duty in June, 1942, and in a letter received by his mother in July, 1944, he wrote he had completed 10 missions at that time. Sgt. Hudson, in his letter to Mrs. Hansaard, gave details of the plane crash, which he said occurred on a mountainside in Albania, 20 miles south of Tirane. He said he jumped clear of the entangled planes at a height of approximately 1,000 feet, and added that after his capture he saw to it that the crew members killed were properly buried. He stated the men who captured him were very co-operative and helpful in arranging the burial of the men. Excerpts from his letter state: “Believe me, Mrs. Hanssard, Sam was a brave man, a good pilot and a real soldiers. I was always proud to be his radio operator and I had the utmost confidence in him. He was not afraid to died and he gave his life knowing he had given the best that was in him. His responsibility was great and he did not betray it.”

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Date of birth:
  • 15 March 1917
  • Date of death: 22 July 1944
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 455th Bomber Group, 741st Bomber Squadron, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar X, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Samuel F. Hanssard Jr.

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