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Douglas H. AGEE

Douglas Agee

Photo from news article dated 1944

Army Serial Number: 18124795
Assigned to the 100th Bombardment Group
Unit: 350th Bombardment Squadron
Position: Waist Gunner
Beginning Date of 100th Service: Unknown
Time of Service at Thorpe Abbotts: Unknown - Unknown

Additional 100th Service Notes

Status: KIA
MACR: 00952
CR: 00952
Comments: 8 OCT 43 BREMEN (FLAK - CL)

Media Articles

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Media ItemTypePageVolume/IssueBroadcast SourceTimeDescriptionFile
Douglas Agee letter reveals death part 1PrintFort Worth Telegram Jan 14 194412:00 am
Douglas Agee letter reveals death part 2PrintFort Worth Telegram Jan 14 194412:00 am
Douglas Agee body repatriatedPrintFort Worth Star-Telegram March 10 194912:00 am

Comments and Notes

Memo 1:

2nd Lt William H.McDonald P EVA/POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# O-672372
2nd Lt John L.James,Jr. CP POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# O-802401
2nd Lt Carl L.Spicer NAV EVADEE 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# O-671130
2nd Lt Frank P.McGlinchey BOM EVA/POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# O-676329
T/Sgt Fred Pribish ROG POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# 16101002
T/Sgt Charles S.Ashbaugh TTE POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# 33292542
S/Sgt Ross W.Detillion BTG POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# 39455581
S/Sgt Douglas H.Agee LWG KIA 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# 18124795
S/Sgt Victor P.Intoccia RWG POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# 32435988
S/Sgt Paul G.Sears TG POW 8 OCT 43 BREMEN SN# 15337608

MACR #952,Micro fiche #315
A/C #42 30318 "SALVO SAL" LN-S

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined 100th Group on 25/8/43.
Tenth mission for crew. Target,Bremen Time 1500 hours approx.

Ship was leading 2nd element of the high sqdn. Agee was struck by a 20mm about 30
minutes before crew bailed out over Holland. German Medical Report in MACR
says " . . Shot in both lungs and bled to death".Body was interred on
12/l0/43 at Beetsterswang Cemetary(Friesland) Row 21,Grave 26.

Douglas H. Agee
100th Bomber Group

Correction: Agee was struck by a 20mm about 30 minutes before crew bailed out over Holland. German Medical Report in MACR says " . . shot in both lungs and bled to death". Douglas Agee was buried on October 11th, 1943 at the Reformed Church at Beetsterzwaag and after war at the beginning of November 1945 reburied at the American War Cemetery Margraten (province Limburg), the Netherlands. The remains of SSGT Douglas H. Agee were returned to the U.S. for interment at a private cemetery in the state of Texas.

All others bailed out over Holland and were taken prisoner..Aircraft crashed near the
Zuider Zee in western Holland.

Carl Spicer was helped by Dutch underground and later joined Jack Justice,pilot
of the 349th Sqdn. Who was shot down on 10/10/43. Also,see p.109 of "THEY
NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD". McGlinchey and McDonald were on the established escape route to Spain but were captured after more than four months at a Border Post in the Pyrenees. Spicer made it across the Spanish border and eventually returned to England in January 1943. All the POWs survived the war and were returned to military control in May 1945.

Missions Flown by the Crew:
1. 3/9/43 Paris
2. 6/9/43 Stuttgart
3. 7/9/43 Watten
4. 9/9/43 Beauvais-Tille
5. 15/9/43 Paris
6. 16/9/43 Bordeau/LaPallice
7. 26/9/43 Paris
8. 27/9/43 Emden-Port
9. 2/10/43 Emden-Port
10. 8/10/43 Bremen-shot down

"Missions of Salvo Sal" by T/Sgt Charles S. Ashbaugh

September 3, 1943: (1) Target Renault Plant Paris, because of bad weather, bombed secondary. Beaumont le Roger
September 4, 1943 Briefied for a raid on another plant in Paris but mission scrapped before take off
September 6, 1943 (2) Taget Ball bearing plant Stuttgart Germany. Ashbaugh shot down our first German fighter, a ME109.
Unable to bomb initial target. Bombed Secondary target northwest of Paris, Nine hour flight
September 7, 1943 (3) Target-Mystery fortifications at Watton France
September 9, 1943 (4) Double raid scheduled. AM raid on airfield at Beauvais, France. PM took off for another airfield target in
Belgium but after climbing to altitude, weather closed in and mission scrubbed.
September 15, 1943 (5) PM Mission Target Renault plant in Paris. Tonight we got together and named our B-17-"Salvo Sal"
September 16, 1943 (6) Target-Assembly plant at Bordeaux, France. Target obscurred and secondary target hit U-Boat instillations at
La Pallice, France. Twelve hour flight.
September 18, 1943 Briefed for a target deep in Germany but mission scrubbed just before take-off because of weather.
September 19, 1943 First 48 hour pass
September 23, 1943 Target-Airfield in Lorient, France. Just as we were about to leave the English coast, Detillion passed out
in the ball turret and we unable to get him out. Aborted. Detillion okay.
September 25, 1943 Target-Stuttgart, Germany. Weather closed in and mission scrubbed just before take-off.
September 26, 1943 (7) Target-Paris. Target areas completely covered over by clouds. Bomb load dropped in channel on way back.
September 27, 1943 (8) Target-Emden, Germany. Our group initiated the Pathfinder set up with the Colonel in the lead ship.
September 29, 1943 Whole crew (except ball turret gunner) received the Air Medal.
October 2, 1943 (9) Target-Emden, Germany
October 8, 1943(10) BREMEN-----------------------------------------------

From Ron from the Neathelands 10/23/05

2 min after the bombing the plane was hit by flak beside the radio room no 2 engine was hit they having trouble to hold in to formation and after 15 min they were attacked by fighters first the fighters came from 3 o clock and later from 9 o clock en they damaged the plane very badly
Sgt Douglas Agee was shooting a German down en was later hit by 20 mm shells An other engine was hit and was on fire and the losing height

This is what a Dutch eye witnesses reported

We saw a bomber who was attacked by a fighter at about a high of 800 mtr We could see clearly that someone was firing from the bomber and how the fighter was hit. The fighter made a crash-landing on the land of the farmer van de Velde Later we saw some parachutes coming from the bomber. Above Nijeberkoop the crew baled out. The plane landed just to north of Lippenhuizen

Here is the story of one who hides Lt McDonald

When he landed with his chute he hides it. The underground contact him in a field just south of Lippenhuizen. And let them stay there until it was dark. Then they get him to bring him in to safety and was brought to a church. After 2 days he was brought to the house of Klaas Kerkstra
There was a a judisch girl (Reina Speelman) who was also hide from the Germans and she speak English so the can speak together. In that time we had him to learn to ride a bicycle. On a evening we brought him to Drachten and from there we was transported to the south on a escape line.

Lt Spicer and lt McGlinchey were walking to whole night until they reached a farm in the morning. They waited until the farmer leave the farm
Then they make contact with the farmer who invited them in his house. They were getting a warm meal and a place to sleep. That evening a teacher was visit the both men who speaks English. The next day the were brought to Wolvega, to a church tower and stay there for a time

Then they were picked up in a taxi by Tiny Mulder from Drachten. 2nd Lt Spicer was brought to the family Van De Velden. Later the 3 men were brought by Tiny Mulder by train to Ermelo and from there McDonald and McGlinchey going to Erp to the family Otten. On 19 January both Americans were brought on a bicycle to Sevenum were they were hide by Piet en Jan Vermeeren who runs the post office. How long they stay there in not know but later they were moved on the escape line to Belgium.

McDonald and McGlinchey were later in the Pyrenees lost in a snowstorm and runs into a German patrol and became POW after a heavy interrogation. Spicer has the luck to reach Spain and on the evening before Christmas day he left Gibraltar and the next day he reaches England
Memo 2:
Hit by 20mm shell in chest about 30mins before crew bailed out.  Shot in both lungs, bled to death.

Endstation Opsterland – part 2
By Ernst Huisman June 5th, 1975

The end of the two Flying Fortresses

After the disaster with the Wellington at Terwispel in September 1941 more than two years passed before another aircraft found its end in the municipality Opsterland. In the meantime the American Air Force started to participate on the war in Europe at August 17th, 1942. The aircraft that on Friday October 8th, 1943 as fourth crashed in Opsterland at the Poasen (road) near the village Hemrik was an American Boeing B-17, a four motor bomber also named “Flying Fortress”.

In total there has been build 12.677 of this type of aircraft in America. These machines had a length of more than 22 meter and a wingspan of almost 32 meter. Each one of the motor had a horsepower of 1200. The top speed was 480 kilometers per hour. For that time it was a big and fast aircraft with a heavy armament to keep of hostile fighters.

On October 8th there were 399 attacks by bombers on Bremen and the nearby Vegesack. Of these 30 aircrafts crashed, 26 were heavily and 150 were light damaged. The heavy losses were partly due to the fact that the American, in opposite to the English, attacked at daytime for reason of more precision.

One of the hit aircrafts had that much damage that it came into difficulties when it came to our environment. It made, from south east flying in formation, a wide bow around Gorredijk, hereby accompanied by a second aircraft, probably also hit, that disappeared in north western direction. The aircraft lost altitude when flying for the direction of Beetsterzwaag and Hemrik and where it, after flying some rounds, at ca. 16:00 hr (4 pm) grounded.
It came flying from the north east side of the Oud Diep, touch ground just south of the Heawei (road) at Wijnjeterp, taxied jumping for 400 or 500 meters over a field with potatoes, crossed the Poastwei (road, was the village boundary) and stand still at a corner of a farm field at Hemrik.

Landing on a harrow
At the farm field where the aircraft stand still two men where lifting potatoes. A part was already done and that afternoon harrowed by a farmer, to make the field ready for seeding of rye. Because it was time to milk the cows the farmer had brought at ca 15:30 hr the harrow to the corner to the field and took the horse to the farm at the Heawei (road). Half an hour later the aircraft stand still on the harrow. The two men in the field obvious run away when the aircraft approached.

The touch with a thick oak tree in the verge caused that the oak was cut off to one meter probably causes the stand still. The left wing of the aircraft snapped off and was lying on the road causing that the German Wehrmacht has to reroute the traffic. The closest motor to the body of this left wing overturned a ditch and ended against a heap of silage.

Almost immediately after stand still the Flying Fortress set at fire. Exploding munitions made an awful noise, the bullets whizzed through the air. Years later still cartridges of bullets were found when the ground was plowed up.

The crew had bailed out on the last piece of the flight except for one. This was the 19 years old sergeant and Waist Gunner Douglas Agee from Texas who was stuck by a bombarding.

A young maternity nurse living at Tijnje and visiting a house nearby was soon at the aircraft that at the front already heavily was at fire. She managed to pull out the man of the tail of the aircraft and lay him on the ground near the aircraft. Later other bystanders put him on a more save distance from the fire.
The landing of the pilotless aircraft most likely has been on the automatic pilot.

The Germans of the enemy aircraft warning service at the tramway southern of the Compagnonsvaart (canal) under Wijnjeterp were soon at the spot. They left the body for a couple of days at the roadside as a deterrent, as pointed by one of the watchman.
The young American was buried on October 11th, 1943 at the Reformed Church at Beetsterzwaag and after war at the beginning of November 1945 reburied at the American War Cemetery Margraten (province Limburg), the Netherlands. The remains of SSGT Douglas H. Agee were returned to the U.S. for interment at a private cemetery in the state of Texas.

During the landing the aircraft lost several parts of the tail and also a filled fuel tank on the field with potatoes at eastern of the Poasen (road). Farmers nearby gratefully used this fuel thrown into their lap.

The Germans ordered a driver to take the rests of the parts of the aircraft to the tram on the switch at Wijnjeterp. The harrow, that was pushed inside the ground but not damaged, made one the German watchmen remarking that even the enemy will kill them by a harrow.

The ground on the spot where the aircraft has landed was soaked by oil in such a way that years afterwards nothing would grow on that spot. Later after the top layer was removed and other soil was put on growing was again possible.

Shelter in the church
All others bailed out. The crew of a Flying Fortress usual existed of ten men. A pilot, a copilot, navigator, bombardier, radio operator / gunner, top turret gunner / engineer, and 4 gunners: ball turret gunner, waist gunners, tail gunner. Most likely nine men bailout. Usually the number of six or seven is mentioned by people who had seen the landing. This can be caused because the first ones came down near Oosterwolde – Makkinga. Others came down near Hoornsterzwaag – Jubbega. The last at one came down southern of Ikenhiem near Gorredijk, were today the road Nijlân is. He broke his leg. The Germans on the watch post at the Lijnbaan (road) at Gorredijk mentioned him and he was soon caught and a prisoner.
The last one who bailed out was Lieutenant William Mc.Donald from Louisiana. He landed on a farm field with beets northern of the Compagnonsvaart (canal), just western of the Pluzerswyk under Lippenhuizen. He hided his parachute and hided himself in the field with beets. A member of the resistance looked for contact and when it was dark he took him to the Reformed Church of Lippenhuizen where the man stayed for the night. After a day in church the same man of the resistance took him into his home, where was also a hidden Jewish woman who spoke English.

Lost in a snowstorm
Later on he was brought to Drachten in civilian clothes and with a false identity card where he stayed till December. Than he went on the so called “Pilot line” together with the navigator Carl Spicer from Ohio and the bombardier Frank McGlinchey from New York who were after their landing came together at Wolvega and than brought to Drachten. They all went under guidance by train southward to the neural Spain and should go from thereon return to their base. They succeeded to go over the Pyrenees and thus be on neutral ground, but got lost in a snowstorm. So they came back on France ground and ran up straight against a German patrol. They were sent as prisoners to a war camp in Poland and stayed there for the rest of the war till the liberation.

Douglas Howard Agee was born on August 27, 1920, in Saltillo, Texas, the son of Carl Scott Agee and Mary Ellen Mitchell Agee. Nothing has been found concerning his early childhood, but with the education system in place in Texas at that time (11 grades only), it is possible he graduated Saltillo High School at the age of 16 or 17.

No enlistment data has been found, except one short biography states he enlisted, took basic training, and then was assigned to aerial gunner's school. The first time he appears in the military record, he is assigned to the 350th Bomb Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group at Kearney AAB, Nebraska, prior to departure from the U.S. to England in November 1942.

Bremen was a well-defended target, ringed by many anti-aircraft guns. The first element that bombed on the mission met extensive fire. When the second group made their bomb run, the German gunners had range and altitude calculated, and MacDonald's squadron suffered 7 of 9 aircraft shot down over the target. MacDonald's aircraft was hit in 2 engines, set afire, and was under intensive attack by German fighters who flew through their own flak to bring home the attacks. SSgt Agee was shot in the chest with a 20mm round. Trying to nurse the damaged aircraft home, but still under attack and burning, losing altitude by the minute, Lt. MacDonald and the remaining crew bailed out.

They landed safely and 7 were immediately captured. Two contacted the Dutch Underground, and one of them, Glinchey, evaded for 4 months, but was then captured. Spicer evaded and eventually made it safely to Spain and then England. All the captured fliers were taken to Stalag Luft XVIIB - Stalag 17. All were liberated in May 1945.

According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft made a crash landing, gear up but sliding near the Zuider Zee and came to a stop. The fires spread and ammunition began detonating. A maternity nurse visiting a near-by house ran to the scene and after spotting him, managed to drag Agee's body from the plane. A later German medical report states he was "shot through both lungs and bled to death." Witnesses state the Germans secured the scene, but left Agee's body by the road for 2 days "as a deterrent." A newspaper article later stated he had been buried by German soldiers, and that a minister or priest was present.

SSgt Agee was buried on October 10 at the Reformed Church Cemetery at Beetsterwang, Row 21, Grave 26. He was later interred at the American Cemetery at Margraten, The Netherlands. His remains were sent home and today lie in the Old Saltillo Cemetery in Saltillo, Texas.


The aircraft commanded by Lt. MacDonald was B-17F #42-30818 nicknamed "Salvo Sal."

Missing Air Crew Report 952 applies, and states the crew was composed of:

1 Lt William H. McDonald p
2 Lt John L. James, Jr c-p
2 Lt Carl L. Spicer nav
2 Lt Frank P. McGlinchey bomb
SSgt Charles W. Ashbaugh eng/tt gun
TSgt Fred Pribish r/o
SSgt Ross W. Detillion btg
SSgt Douglas H. Agee lwg
SSgt Victor P. Intoccia rwg
SSgt Paul G. Sears tail gun

Credit for the shooting down of this bomber was given to Lt. Franz Ruhl, flying a BF-109G from JG 3/4

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT Information:

"Salvo Sal" (42-30818)
FLAK - Crash Landed

Crew List

1st Crew List

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Rank Name Pos Status
S/Sgt AGEE, Douglas H. WG KIA