Veterans' Memorial Project
World War II
Lt. Harvey served with the 427th Bomber Squadron, 303rd Bomber Group, Heavy. On February 9, 1945, on Mission Number 313 from Molesworth, England, to Lutzkendork, Germany, Dean was in a B-17 G Plane Number 43-39149 as the copilot. This plane was not named as many were. Two 427th BS B-17’s collided before “bombs away”–his plane piloted by Lt. Barrat and the other plane called “Poque Ma Hone” piloted by Lt. A. K. Nerner. The right wing of “Poque Ma Hone” hit the tail of Dean’s plane. The rear part of the fuselage of Dean’s plane, from the waist window back, was torn off and the B-17 was seen going down in two sections. The sections hit the ground and exploded, Miraculously, Sgt. Emerson (tail gunner) managed to parachute out of the severed tail and became a POW in Stalag VII. All other crewmen were killed. In 1991 a German eyewitness to the crash of Dean’s plane reported that the aircraft was heading for the center of the village of Eisenberg. Just before it would have crashed into the city, killing hundreds of people with its intact armed bomb load, Pilots Barret and Harvey managed to level the B-17 and dropped their bombs on the field outside the village. Only one house was hit that killed 10 people. It then crashed and exploded in a wooded area near Eisenberg/Thuringen, Germany. In October, 1991, a group located the crash site, recovering parts of the aircraft and the human remains of the crew members. A gold wedding band with the Initials MN to PB 1944 was found that belonged to Navigator F. O. Best. Another ring with the initials RJB was found that belonged to Pilot 2nd Lt. Barrat. On September 7, 1995, villagers erected a memorial to the crew members who reportedly gave their lives to save hundreds of villagers. The memorial was the first instance where German citizens honored American airmen. Dean’s plane was one of 10 destroyed in mid-air collisions in the 303rd Bomber Group. He was one of 841 killed in that group. He had participated with other 8th Air Force flyers in the aerial support of the Battle of the Bulge. Lt. Harvey earned the Air Medal with three clusters. Lt. Harvey is remembered with a marker placed at Arlington National Cemetery on June 22, 1949, Section 34 Site 4219.
-submitted by Pamela Greenwood, niece, February, 2007; and information taken from Illinois Alumni News, July, 1946