|Pilot Tribune 17 June 1943|
Arm Gone, Body Riddled, County Boy an Aerial Hero
Full Story is Told
Jungbluth A Real Hero, Says Liberty
Magazine Tells of B—24’s Epie, In Which Bob Jungbluth Aided Mates, Shot Down Nazi Attackers After Wilheimshaven Raid
His right arm shot off and still dangling from the plane’s window, more than 100 shrapnel wounds in his body and weakened to exhaustion from shock and loss of blood, Staff Sgt. Robert Jungbluth of Arlington finally stopped fighting – but he and his mates continued to pray, and miraculously they all got back to England alive.
That, briefly, is the heart stopping talk of the heroism of blond, 25-year-old Bob Jungbluth , son of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Jungbluth of Arlington, and his nine B0-24 bomber plane mates as they battled their way back to safety after a raid on Wilhelmsnaven, Germany, as recounted in the June 26 issue of Liberty magazine, now on the news stands.
And while Liberty said young Jungbluth considered himself lucky despite his injuries, the Washington county boy has more reason than ever this week to feel fortunate, for by a peculiar turn of fate his injuries are responsible for his being alive today. His fellow crewmen, Bobs dad has learned, are all missing in action at present, having been shot down on a later flight while Jungbluth recuperated in a hospital.
Things began to go wrong even before the bomber reached its target that day, relates Cpl. Carrol Stewart, author of the Liberty article, “The Epic Flight of The “Night Raider.”
As the raiders reached the Dutch coast, Sgt. Elmer Dawley passed out in the high altitude, his oxygen mask frozen. Staff Sgt. T. J. Kilmer went to investigate and himself fell unconscious. Meanwhile the plane reached its target, and crewmen were too busy dodging flak and dropping their bombs squarely on the designated spots to help the two unconscious men.
“Jung, the fair-headed radio operator, left his position on the flight deck to administer first aid to Kilmer, whose face was now purple,” relates liberty. “Others who saw him though he was dead. But Jung fixed an oxygen supply on him and worked hard with artificial respiration. Finally Kilmer showed signs of life…
“Jung left the reviving Kilmer and worked on Dawley, the tunnel gunner who had been unconscious since first reaching the Dutch coast…’Big Jung saved the lives of those two fellows, all right,’ a crewman testified later.”
The Washington county boy then dashed to one of the waist guns, along with Tech. Sgt. Louis Szabo. Twenty German fighter planes closed in Liberty continues:
Bob is Hit
“Dawley picked off an ME-110, Big Jung hadn’t been on Kilmer’s waist gun long when he sent an ME-109 plunging in flames into the sea, and Szabo bagged another ME-109 off the starboard. Besides the three knocked down for certain, there were three ‘probables’.
“An FW-190 came toward us,’ Szabo recounted later. ‘His wings were pure red. I could almost see the lead coming point-blank. I froze onto the trigger. His left wing dropped off—he went hell bent into the water. But he’d fired first and hit Jung and me. I knew Jung was hurt worse than I was. I looked up and saw part of his arm hanging above the window – looked around and saw his side intact. The twenty-mm blast had ripped Jung’s arm from his body, and the shrapnel had hit us both.
“Kilmer began to administer morphine and ‘sulfa’ to Big Jung, the guy who’d saved his life a few minutes earlier.
“When I got to looking around I realized I was injured pretty bad, said Jung later from his hospital bed. “We’d been expecting the end for so long that we figured things couldn’t be much worse.”
Meanwhile the attack was pushed by the Nazis, the magazine continues, and the plane finally got out over the North sea, shook off its pursuers and began fluttering to either a watery grave or a crash landing in England. Jungbluth said later, “I guess everyone took time to pray.”
They Made It!
Through some good fortune the plane reached England and made ready for a crash landing. Kilmer lay down with one arm around Jungbluth’s body and used his free arm as a brace to protect the Arlington lad from the landing shock. But there was no shock. It was the smoothest landing possible. Liberty continues:
“The wounded were rushed to English hospital in ambulances. The next day in a hospital a young white-clad nurse showed Chaplain James A. Burris of Cassville, Missouri, Jungbluth’s ring. ‘Won’t you tell him he’s lost an arm,’ she pleaded, ‘because I can’t.’ Then she slipped the ring on a finger on his left hand. Jung, asleep since the operation, was now awakening.
“ ’Where was Szabo hit, Jung?’ the chaplain asked.
“They got him on his right side—and in the right lung,’ he murmured.
“Where did it get you? The chaplain asked sympathetically.
“O ‘Oh, it got me in the right arm. Would you like to see?’ Then Big Jung drew back the blankets and they both saw.’
“Well Jung, I guess that’s part of it’ the chaplain said.
“ ‘Well’, Jung said, ‘that’s to be expected but I’m lucky. Thank God we had Captain Fleenor driving that ship. We all owe our lives to him. It could have been a lot worse.’ This from a man who had more than a hundred shrapnel wounds.”
Will be Home Soon
Jungbluth is now back in the United States, undergoing treatment at Ft. Lowell, Mass., and at Percy Jones General hospital, Battle Creek, Mich. After that, his father told The Pilot-Tribune this week, he expects to come home to his parents’ farm on a furlough.
Pilot Tribune 1 July 1943
Air Hero Jungbluth Meets His Folks…as Millions ‘Listen In’
Staff Sgt. Robert Jungbluth, 25 of Arlington, who lost his right arm as radio operator aboard a B-24 bomber on the return from a German raid, met his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Julian Jungbluth, last night and quite a few million people were in on it.
Bob was interviewed about his war experiences on the Sammy Kaye program from Detroit. At the conclusion of the interview, his parents came forward to meet Bob.
Not even suspecting their presence in advance, Bob was momentarily speechless.
“Glad to see you, Bob,” his dad could be heard saying over the applause of the audience. “Glad to see you, too, Dad,” his son answered.
Bob’s mother cried just a little bit, then said happily; “This is the greatest thing that ever happened to us.”
The announcer then dismissed them so they could continue their reunion privately.
It was the first time Bob had seen his parents since before he went overseas. He has been back in the United States a number of weeks undergoing treatment for his injuries.
His experiences are related in detail in the June 26 issue of Liberty magazine.
Pilot Tribune 15 July 1943
Jungbluth Comes Home
Heroic Sergeant, Injured In Raid On Germany, Visits Arlington
Heroic Sgt. Bob Jungbluth has come home.
The handsome blond youth who lost an arm while serving as radio operator aboard a bomber in a German air raid early this year, is at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Julian Jungbluth of near Arlington, on a 30-day furlough.
Just released from the Percy Jones hospital at Battle Creek, Mich., Bob thinks home’s all right – especially after what he’s been though. He doesn’t have much planned for the next week or two. Just loafing and visiting, he figures, sounds like a pretty good thing.
Jungbluth was credited with saving the lives of two men when their oxygen masks were clogged in the extreme cold. He put the masks in working order and restored the men to consciousness.
Shortly afterward the waist gunner was injured and Jungbluth took over his post. Attacked by 20 enemy plane, Jungbluth lost his arm in the ensuring battle and received 100 shrapnel wounds. Staff Sgt. Kilmer of Alva, Okla., one of the men whose life he had saved had recovered sufficiently by this time to make a tourniquet for Jungbluth’s arm in time to have him from bleeding to death.
The Night Raider, badly damaged, had become separated from the other planes in the flight during the attack, and the pilot flew into a heavy cloud, finally evading the attackers. The gas in the badly damaged ship was running low as the bomber attempted its landing in England and the crew expected a crash. Those who were not injured held the wounded in their arms to protect them. However, the plane landed smoothly, without further injury to the men aboard. On the next raid nearly all of the crew of the Night Raider was lost or captured.
Jungbluth, who was on numerous raids, was awarded the purple heart and the silver star. He enlisted in the air force in 1941.
From Find a Grave record #102304670: Buried at Confidence Cemetery, Confidence, Wayne County, Iowa; Plot North Addn. He was born 25 Jan 1919 and died 27 April 1980. Son of Julian and Nettie Marie (Williams) Jungbluth.