Toepper, S/Sgt. Miles L.

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S/Sgt. Miles Lloyd Toepper 
Born: 26 December 1923 – Forest Park, Illinois 
Parents: J. Charles & Laura Toepper 
Siblings: 2 sisters, 2 brothers 
Home: 
– 418 South Elgin Avenue – Forest Park, Illinois 
Education: 
– Saint James Catholic School – Maywood, Illinois 
– Proviso Township High School 
Employment: Chicago Title & Trust Company – Chicago, Illinois
– Class of 1941 
– Northwestern University (Evening School) 
Selective Service Registration: 27 June 1942
Contact Person: Laura Toepper – mother
Inducted: 
– 31 March 1943 
Serial Number: 36655469 
Training: 
– Camp Hood – Killeen, Texas 
– Camp Bowie – Brownwood, Texas 
– Camp Harlingen – Killeen, Texas 
– Biggs Army Airfield – El Paso, Texas 
– crews of B-17s and B24s trained there 
– ball turret gunner 
Stationed: North Pickenham, England 
– member of crew #601  
Deployment: 
– went to England on the Queen Elizabeth 
Unit: 
– 856th Bomb Squadron, 492nd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force
– the unit flew B24J Bombers 
– unofficially known as “The Hard Luck Group” for number of casualties 
– Toepper’s crew was one of the original bomber crews 
Plane: 44-40163 
Engagements: 
– 34 bombing missions over Europe 
– 11 May 1944 – his first mission 
Killed in Action: 
– 20 June 1944 
– 856th assigned to bomb oil refineries at Politz, Germany 
– on the flight to target the squadron was attacked by Me-410s, Ju-88s, Me-109s, and Me-110s 
– it is believed a captured B-24 joined formation and radioed their position to Luftwaffe 
– Toepper’s plane hit by rockets from Me-410s and Ju-88s 
– the plane fell from sky and crashed into the Kibitzer Bodden, a part of the Baltic Sea, which is a channel between Stralsund and Rugen Island 
– Toepper’s body recovered on the coast near Stralsund by Germans after crash
– buried in a local cemetery 
Buried: 
– 11 June 1949 – Forest Home Cemetery – Forest Park, Illinois 
– buried next to his grandmother 
Medals: 
– Purple Heart 

 

 

Toepper Grave

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