Veterans' Memorial Project

Seymour Gitlitz

Chicago, IL

World War II

College: Engineering

Graduation Year: Attended 1942-1943

Service Branch: Air Force

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Date of Birth: 09/16/1924

Date of Death: 08/06/1944

Lt. Gitlitz served wtih the 789th Bomber Squadron, 467th Bomber Group, Heavy, as a navigator. His plane’s target was oil tanks and a processing plant in Hamburg, Germany. He was killed in action over Hamburg, Germany, when his ship was struck by flak about one minute before “Bombs Away” over the target. The crew managed to bail out before the aircraft crashed in Hamburg except for Lt. Gitlitz. He was the sole casualty among the crew that day; the remainder were taken POW. On the crew photo shown below, Bottom Row from the right is Lt. Gitlitz, navigator; 2nd Lt. Damian Murray, pilot; and Lt. Benedict Staudt, co-pilot. Lt. Gitlitz is buried at Plot B Row 31 Grave 43 at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium. He earned the Purple Heart.

-taken from Illinois Alumni News, June, 1946 and Web sites above; also from information provided by Margaret Murray, daughter of 2nd Lt. Damian Murray who was the pilot of the downed aircraft; and Ellen Bellairs, daughter of co-pilot Lt. Benedict Staudt.

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