The Hansen Crew

700th Squadron

445th Bomb group

Of the 117 dead on the Kassel Mission, six were from this crew. Because the plane exploded, there was nothing left of the five onboard at the time of the explosion. Because the explosion occurred when the plane was at a very low level, the explosion was contained within a relatively smaller space. At the time, because everything was pulverized, it was thought that nothing of the bodies was recoverable. With today's DNA testing, that has changed. Because of the work of a dedicated few individuals who, with the assistance of the Kassel Mission Historical Society, worked ceaselessly to urge the U.S government to retrieve these remains, a dig commenced in the Summer of 2015 to recover what is left of the plane and the men. The dig team was aided in locating the "hot spot" by KMHS member and Kassel Mission Museum owner Eberhard Halbig, who lives in Eisenach. See more on the MIA project below.


B24H  #42-95078  (Runway 27)  Call letter C+ (Charley)

Formation position

Slot Element


Crashed in Germany                    MACR 9396


rank     name                               Position                             outcome

2nd Lt.    Hansen, Robert N                 Pilot                                             MIA

2nd Lt.    Bridges, Herbert C., Jr          Copilot                                        Stalag Luft I

2nd Lt.    Pile, Porter M.                        Navigator                                    MIA

2nd Lt.    Woodley, John C.                  Bombardier                                Stalag Luft I

T/Sgt       Triplett, James M                   Radio Operator                         MIA

S/Sgt       Howell, S E, Jr                        Waist Gunner                            KIA

S/Sgt       Hornsby, Elwyn J                   Waist Gunner                            Stalag 9C

T/Sgt       Palmer, Charles C, Jr             Engineer/Top Turret Gunner   MIA

S/Sgt       Bode, Ralph H                        Tail Gunner                               MIA