S-Sgt. Robert R. Cary, Declared Dead

S/Sgt. Robert R.Cary KIA World War II THE NUTLEY SUN (Sept. 28, 1945) - Mrs. Helen H. Cary, of  East High street, has been informed by the War department that not having any information of the survival or the death of her son, S/Sgt. Robert R. Cary, Army Air Corps., reported missing since March 19, 1944, they have officially declared him dead on August 21, 1945.

Four brothers, William, Stanley, Kenneth and Donald Cary, all of Nutley, survive him. There will be a memorial service held at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon at St. Mary's Protestant Episcopal church in Keyport, where S/Sgt. Cary attended before entering the armed forces.

Staff Sergeant Robert R. Cary, U.S. Army Air Forces, served in the 96th Bomber Squadron, 2nd Bomber Group, Heavy. He was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart. He is buried at Plot E, Row 9, Grave 39, Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy.

Andraz Dedicates Memorial

to U.S. Bomber Crew

Shot Down 70 Years Ago

Andraz, SLOVENIA (March 22, 2014) – A memorial to the airmen aboard the USAA bomber "Dark Eyes" shot down over what was then Yugoslavia was dedicated on March 22, 2014.

The monument was researched and designed by Igor Verdev.

"In memory of the US Airmen of the 15th AAF, shot down above Andraz on 19th March, 1944, in the bomber B-17F "Dark Eyes", Number 41-24405


Herman S. Lavine

George J. Seamans

Virgil Lazar

Robert R. Cary

Arthur L. Hyatt

Micheal A. Croccia

Oscar Rome

Harold E. Hansen



Louis M. Boehm

Kenneth C. Cook


Dignitaries at the memorial dedication included the U.S. Ambassador, the U.S. military attaché, the Slovenian foreign minister and the Slovenian chief of general staff.

Information courtesy of Igor Verdev, Slovenia.

The Second Was First

Chapter 8 - Operations March 1944 


Captain Harold L. Chrishmon led 17 aircraft over the target and dropped 51 tons of 500-lb. GP bombs on the Airdrome at Klagenfurt. The original target had been to bomb a ball bearing plant at Steyr, Austria, but a 10110 cloud cover prevented the Group from penetrating the weather front. 

Forty to 50 enemy planes attacked the formation in two waves. One Wave of 25 to 30 made a pass or two at the formation and then left to engage the escorting fighters. The Second Wave of 20 to 25 attacked the Group and continued for 48 minutes, just before the bombs were released. The Ef A first lobbed rockets and then came in firing 20mm cannons, went under the formation and attacked again. Six EfA attacked #631, an early return, and then left to follow the other EfA. No. 631 was not hit and made no claims.

The 2nd Bomb Group was the last over the target and not many bomb strikes were visible due to smoke from previous bombings. Some damage was visible to residential areas at the southeast corner of the airdrome. Flak was reported as moderate to intense and accurate. B-17 #42-38100, 96th Squadron, was hit by flak, exploded and went down. One chute was seen.

B-17 #41-24405, 96th Squadron, was hit by fighters and went down. It was reported on fire but under control. Five to six chutes were reported.

B-17 #42-31446, 49th Squadron, was reported hit by rockets. Ten men bailed out.

B-17 #42-38143, 49th Squadron, collided with a plane of the 97th Bomb Group


1st Lt. Herman S. Lavine, 0-799202, P. (KIA)

2nd Lt. Arthur L. Hyatt, 0-680640, CP (KIA)

2nd Lt. George J. Seamans, 0-688470, N. (KIA)

2nd Lt. Louis M. Boehm, 0-684394, B. (POW)

S/Sgt. Michael A. Croccia, 14061930, VIT. (KIA)

S/Sgt. Virgil (NMI) Lazar, 15330452, LIT. (KIA)

S/Sgt. Oscar (NMI) Rome, 31002077, RIW. (KIA)

S/Sgt. Kenneth C. Cook, 35361908, LIW. (POW)

S/Sgt. Robert R. Cary, 32360968, T/G. (KIA)

S/Sgt. Harold E. Hansen, 37294573, RIO. (KIA)

Statement of Sgt. Glen Hedrick, RW on B-17 #41-24408, after the mission: "I was watching fighters coming in and one peeled off to the right. As he got out of range, I looked back for more fighters and saw a B-17 and heard from the conversation on the interphone that it was #41-24405.

"It was about 400 yards out, at 4:00 o'clock, low. I noticed two chutes already in the air. I kept watching and saw four more bailout at regular intervals. As long as I could see it, which was minutes after I saw the last chute come out, the plane was still under control and the rest of the crew would have had plenty of time to bailout."

S SG Robert R. Cary

ID: 32360968

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Hometown: Monmouth County, NJ

Status: KIA

From The Nutley Sun Sept. 28, 1945:

S-Sgt. Robert R. Cary, AAF
Is Officially Declared Dead

American Battle Monuments Commission

American Legion Post 70 Memorial

2nd Bomb Group 96th Squadron

World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing,
State of New Jersey, War Dept. June 1946

World War II National Memorial

This Page Updated: February 13, 2021

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