Herschell Orval Hamblin

Born 1921, Virginia
Died 21 June 1944, Schwerin, Germany
Memorialized at Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands

Husband of Frances George

Aircraft B-24H with serial number 42-95186 was on a bombing mission to Berlin, Germany. The aircraft was hit in the engines and crashed between Hof Meteln and Gross Trebbow, District of Schwerin in the morning at 1000 hours. All nine crew members bailed out. Three were captured (Branizza, Howell and Vajgl). Howell whose parachute did not open was seriously wounded and taken to the hospital in Schwerin.
The other six crew members were shot by the German Security Police while evading.

Crew members
Pilot, 2nd Lt Cleve J. Howell
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Arthur B. Majestic
Navigator, F/O Robert J. Branizza
Bombardier, 2nd Lt Victor D. Dolecek
Left Waist Gunner, Sgt George J. Grubisa
Radio Operator/Gunner, S/Sgt Herschel O. Hamblin
Top Turret Gunner, S/Sgt Bertil S. Johnson
Tail Gunner, Sgt James L. Vajgl
Right Waist Gunner, Sgt Sammie D. Vinson

Article published in the The Bee
(Danville, Virginia)
5 August 1944 • Page 1

The article listing the death of his brother, W. C. Hamblin, was found as follows:
The Bee
(Danville, Virginia)
4 May 1945 • Page 4
W. C. Hamblin is not listed with the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial, because he enlisted out of state.

Please note that Robin Huijnen (Robin Huijnen, Valkenburg, Netherlands) has adopted S/Sgt Hamblin’s grave in the Netherlands.  He can be contacted as follows:  info@aczuid.nl

From Judith Haran–
I came across documents related to the capture and execution of this man during my job as document analyst (archivist) for the Nuremberg Trial records here at Harvard Law School. I’m submitting the original and a translation of document “R-117”– the German arrest record (which notes that he was “shot trying to escape”, a euphemism for execution). Also submitting a pic of the crew of his plane (found online at this marvelous article: https://www.nycop.com/LastMissionoverBerlin/body_lastmissionoverberlin.html


  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 8 July 1920
  • Date of death: 21 June 1944
  • County: Greene
  • Hometown: Greeneville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 712th Bomber Squadron, 448th Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar IX, Middle Panel
  • Sponsored by: Mr. Robin Huijnen

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →