ROBERT EDWARD POLAND
|The Citadel Class of:
||M (Source: Sphinx 1939)
||12-Jun-18 at Watertown, Massachusetts
||Frank Poland, Sr. (father), Miriam K. Poland (mother)
|Branch of Service:
||U.S. Army Air Forces
|Entered the Service from:
|Company – Squadron:
|Unit – Group:
||6th Ferry Group
|Plane data: (Serialnumber, MACR, etc.)
||A-20 Havoc, 42-33298
|Date of death:
||Missing / DNB
|Place of death:
||Atlantic ocean 200 miles off the coast of Liberia, North Africa
||vicinity 2 degrees 5 minutes North, 10 degrees 20 minutes
West, last reported position
||Purple Heart, Air Medal
||Tablets of the MissingView Page
||North Africa American Cemetery
||“After two years at Citadel Military College, Charleston, S.C., enlisted in Army Air Corps
Parks Air College, St. Louis – Randolph Field, Texas.
Commissioned second lieutenant at Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Received Captaincy with Air Transport Command”
– Source: Letter from Mrs. Frank Poland to Gen. Summerall dated 14 September 1948, The Citadel
Archives and Museum, Charleston, S.C.
According to information included in the Report of Death dated 25 April 1947 (National Archives),
Captain Poland was 6 foot tall, weighed 160 pounds, and had blue eyes and dark brown hair.
His shoe size was 9-D.
The plane, a Douglas A-20 Havoc light bomber, was off the coast of Africa, enroute from Ascension
Island to Roberts Field, Marshal, Liberia, when Captain Poland reported it was in trouble. Pilot and
crew were Capt. Poland, 1Lt. Jeremiah T. Ryan, navigator, and Cpl. Bernard A. Kanger, engineer.
Thirteen planes and crew were involved in the two day search effort for the missing air crew.
Poland’s mother was incorrectly informed that her son had been found near Africa and was in a
hospital being treated for exposure and sunburn.
“The fact that these men disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean between Ascension Island and Liberia,
Africa, more than four years ago leaves no doubt as to their ultimate fate. An immediate search was
instituted but, though thorough, proved fruitless. The possibility that these airmen were picked up
by enemy surface or underwater craft is now without significance since all American prisoners of war
have been repatriated. Since no trace of any of the crew members of the plane has been discovered
or reported during the intervening period of more than four years that has elapsed since they became
missing, it must be concluded that these men were killed when their plane was forced down at sea.”
– Source: Report of Death, 25 April 1947
Sources: American Battle Monuments Commission, The Citadel Archive & Museum, Mike Stannard ’65, www.Fold3.com, Find A Grave.com
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