Harry Allen Liniger was born on August 9, 1924 in Steubenville, Ohio to Paul W. and Estella P. Liniger. Harry was named for an uncle, his father’s brother Harry, a WWI veteran.
Harry and his friend, Dink, both graduated from the Edwards Military Institute.
At the age of 18, Harry – the Brodie crew waist gunner – enlisted in the Army Air Corps on March 24, 1943 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The courthouse where he enlisted was the very same courthouse at which his future wife’s great-grandfather enlisted in the Confederate States Army.
Harry trained at eight duty stations in the U.S. prior to going overseas:
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- 613 Training Group, St. Petersburg, Florida
- 403 Training Group, Miami Beach, Florida
- Academic Squadron 1, Scott Field, Illinois
- 4th Training Detachment, Harlingen, Texas
- Prov. Squadron, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Combat Crew Detachment, Ardmore, Oklahoma
- 23rd Prov. Squadron, Kearney, Nebraska
While Harry was serving his country in the Army Air Forces, his sweetheart, Carrie Belle Carter, waited for him here at home. During the war, Carrie worked at a German POW processing center in Newport News, Virginia.
After his training in the states, Harry was sent to the air station at Grafton Underwood, England. There he was part of the Eighth Air Force, 384th bomb group, 545th bomber squadron, a waist gunner on the John Joseph Brodie crew. Harry flew his first mission on August 7, 1944.
Flying his 16th mission with the James J. Brodie crew on September 28, 1944, Harry Liniger was aboard the Lazy Daisy. Harry and his crewmates were involved in a mid-air collision with the Lead Banana coming off the target at Magdeburg, Germany. With the Lazy Daisy going down, as Harry attempted to escape through the waist door, an explosion threw him from the ship. Harry survived the collision and became a prisoner of war, one of only three men from the Lazy Daisy to survive.
Harry Liniger was held prisoner at Stalag Luft IV and was part of the Black March that started on February 6, 1945. He was eventually liberated in late April or early May, 1945 and returned to the states.
- The other man identified in the above photo, Robert Doyle Crumpton, was the engineer/top turret gunner for the Brodie crew. He was aboard Lazy Daisy on September 28, and did not survive the mid-air collision.
- The unidentified men in the photographs may have been other Brodie crew members assuming the photos were taken at Grafton Underwood.
Harry was highly decorated during his military career, earning the following medals:
- Bronze Star
- Air Medal w/Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
- Purple Heart
- European Campaign Medal
- WWII Victory Medal
- Good Conduct Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- Prisoner of War Medal
After returning to the states, while still on active duty, Harry and Carrie Belle married on July 26, 1945.
Harry Liniger was discharged from the Army Air Forces on October 31, 1945.
Thank you to Harry Liniger, Jr., Harry’s son, for supplying the photos and information presented in this post.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014