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James Malcom Greene

Rungestr. 8

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Erinnerungszeichen (Stele)

James Malcolm Greene was the only son of Verbal and James Roscoe Greene and grew up in Paducah in the US State of Kentucky. His parents worked on the railway. They also kept a small farm outside the town. James M. Greene joined the US Air Force in 1942 after finishing high school. Shortly before he was posted to Italy, he married Emma Catherine Collier. Their son was born in April 1944, but James M. Greene was never to see him. James M. Greene was a gunner with a unit stationed in Spinazzola, Italy. In ‘Flying Junior’, as their bomber was nicknamed, he and his comrades carried out missions attacking targets in Italy, France, the Balkans and Germany. Their target on 19 July 1944 was the BMW factory in Munich-Allach, which made engines for fighters for the German Luftwaffe. ‘Flying Junior’ was shot down on the approach run to Munich. Four of the airmen were able to bale out with their parachutes from the burning aircraft. James M. Greene was one of them. He landed in some woods on Rungestrasse between Pullach and Solln. Although he surrendered immediately to three Nazi functionaries, they shot him on the spot and mutilated his body. The Pullach local Nazi group leader took James M. Greene’s dog tags as a trophy. Unlike James M. Greene, two of his comrades survived. Walter Grein, a medical student, prevented the murder of radio operator Richard T. Travers after he landed just a few streets away. The aerial photographer Gerald R. Walter owed his rescue to a farmer whose identity is still unknown. He hid him until the police came and took him into captivity as a prisoner of war just moments before the Nazi snatch squad came on the scene hunting for airmen shot down in the raids. (text Susanne Meinl, editor C. Fritsche, translation C. Hales)