2nd Lieutenant Virgil David Moll, 1944.
Photo courtesy of Linda Camp
His father, David Odine Moll (b: 1 April 1883, d:16 Sep 1933) was a Roofer. He was also a Spanish-American War Veteran. He was born in Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas. David O. Moll was the son of Charles L and Nancy E. (Casebeer) Moll. He died in Anderson, Missouri. David O. Moll was buried in Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, on 19 Sep 1933.
His mother, Jewel Rose (Rosie) Moll (b: 30 Dec 1886, d: 1 Oct 1973) was the daughter of James Preston and Mary Eva (Smith) Love and was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Rosie Moll's SSAN was 547-30-9332.
David O. and Rosie Preston were married on 16 Apr 1910 in Lead City, South Dakota. The 1920 census shows them living in Commerce, OK.
According to the 1930 Census, the Moll family was living on Moffet Street, in Joplin, MO. The family moved west to California shortly after the death of David Odine Moll in 1933. The family lived at 1017 W 22nd Street, Los Angeles.
Virgil David Moll had the following siblings:
Hazel Irine Moll (Pitts) Born 28 Jan 1911 in Lead City, South Dakota. Sons: David & Richard.
Louis Preston Moll Born ABT 1914 in Commerce, Oklaholma. Son: Michael Dau: Trish.
Hermann Maxwell (Mack) Moll Born 9 Aug 1915 Commerce, OK, Death: 09/17/1988 in Los Angeles CA His SSAN was 550-05-8874. Last address: 90057. Married to: Bonnie McNutt (b: 07/11/1922 in Austin County TX),Death: 11/28/1973 in Houston, TX (Harris Co.). Bobbie Jo Moll - Daughter. - Bryant married name. Sons David & George Henry.
George Edward Moll Born 16 Apr 1922 in Commerce, Oklaholma Died Jul 1979. His SSAN was 336-16-3795. His last address: 92624 Capistrano Beach, Orange, California. Dau: Lisa Sons: Gary Edward, Corman Gary (b: abt 1945)
Owen Glenn Moll Born 14 Aug 1925 in Joplin, Missouri Died 24 Aug 1947 Los Angeles. SSAN 562-289-334. He was unmarried.
David Moll graduated from High School about 1936 or 1937 in Los Angeles. It is also strongly suspected he attended college, probably in the local area. It is not known which schools he attended or if he recieved a college degree.
David Moll joined the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) on November 16th, 1942. He entered the USAAF at Fort Douglas, Utah and was initally assigned to the 9th Corps Area Service Command. After basic training as an enlisted aviation cadet he was assigned to Selman Army Air Field (AAF), Monroe, Louisiana. At Selman he recieved both pre-flight and advanced training as an aircraft navigator, graduating on December 4th, 1943 with both a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and USAAF navigators wings.
After training, David Moll was assigned to the 486th Bomber Group(H), 832nd Bomber Squadron, at McCook AAF, Nebraska as a B-24 Navigator. The 486th flew training missions in the B-24H and B-24J "Liberators" at McCook and later at Davis-Monthan AAF, Arizona. David Moll was assignd to B-24J 42-50496 "Robin-D-Cradle", piloted by 2LT Lt. Eugene Hicks.
The 486th was transferred to England in late March, 1944 and assigned to USAAF station 174, Sudbury, Sussex, England, APO 559. The original group symbol was a black "O" in a white square. The square was painted on the tail, top right wing, and bottom left wing. The square identified 3rd Air Division aircraft, the O signified the group. The aircraft were originally painted olive drab on all upper surfaces, and light gray-blue on all ventral surfaces. This paint scheme was originally meant to camouflage the aircraft.
The 486th began combat operations from Sudbury in May, 1944. Their first combat sortie took place on 7 May 1944. 2LT David Moll's first combat mission took place two days later.
|Completed 6 Missions|
According to the research performed by Linda Camp: "In the early morning hours of [Saturday] May 28, 1944 the skies above Sudbury, England were pierced by the sounds of B24 Liberators taking off and forming on the beacons. The mission was to bomb a synthetic oil plant at Lutzkendorf, Germany.
The lead plane of the lower squadron was piloted by 2nd Lt. EUGENE R. HICKS. There was the normal crew of ten men, but that day they had an extra man, a pin-point navigator on board.
The original plane assigned to Lt. Hicks was named "Robin-D-Cradle", in tribute to his fiancee. That plane was damaged and scrapped from an earlier mission and they were flying the third plane assigned to them since their arrival. This would be their 6th mission.
As the squadron neared the target the Hicks plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The most damaging hit was to the #3 engine. They immediately dropped out of formation allowing the rest of the squadron to continue on to the target. As they tried to return to base, the lone plane successfully dropped their bombs on a railroad storage facility.
The entire crew agreed that they could limp back home, as they had twice before. However, this was not to be as they also lost the #4 engine after crossing over the Belgium coast.
Three of the crew members survived and spent about 2 days in the North Sea. They were captured by the Germans and sent to Stalag Luft III. To the best of my knowledge these three are still living. None of the remaining eight crewmen were ever found, and after one year were declared killed in action."
According to Missing Aircrew Report 5389:
May 28, 1944 the Lt. Eugene Hicks plane took off from Sudbury, England to bomb a synthetic oil plant at Lutzkendorf, Germany. This was the 6th mission and 3rd plane for this crew. They were the lead plane in the lower squadron. As they approached the targe they were hit by flak and lost #3 engine. Losing air speed they left the squardron and dropped the bombs on a railroad storage yard the continued toward base. The Sudbury control tower received notification from the radio station at West Malling that they had received a message from #345, which gave its position South of Liege, Belgium. The aicraft reportedly made the coast, and over the English Channel the #4 engine quit. Ten of the crew successfully bailed out, and Lt. Hicks crashed into the sea and died on impact.
Three of the men were taken prisoner of war and seven others were seen and reported but never found. (MACR 5389)
2nd Lieutenant David Moll was observed parachuting into the English Channel. Initially, he was declared Missing In Action. He was never found, and his body was never recovered.
On 29 May 1945, David Moll was declared Killed In Action. He was unmarried. His name is listed on Tablets of the Missing at Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium
Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial - Neupre, Belgium
Tablets of the Missing
Ardennes American Cemetery Chapel
2nd Lt David Moll's military record shows the following Information:
Service Number(s): 19-101-803 (Enlisted), O-702140 (Officer)
Decorations and Awards:
American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Air Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Honorable Lapel Button and World War II Victory Medal.