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Howard F Gotts is listed on the ‘Missing in Action or Buried at Sea Tablets of the Missing’ at Florence American Cemetery Florence, Italy.
He is shown missing in action on 1 Aug 1943, Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces Service Number: 12055796 Regiment: 66th Bomber Squadron, 44th Bomber Group, Heavy. The awards given to him are: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart
According to the 44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties the aircraft was on an air raid to Ploesti on 1 August 1943. In 66th Squadron was the plane, a B-24 #41-24015 R, known as WING DINGER MACR #2410, piloted by 1st Lt George W Winger. Howard was the Radio Operator, and is listed as from Stanley, New York.
As they made their bombing run, an explosion knocked aside, and the Tokyo fuel tanks in the bomb bay were on fire. The pilot managed to pull up to 500 ft which let two crew bail out, but no others made it before the plane crashed and exploded.
For more details of the crew click on the link above..
At present I do not have Howard in a tree, though the 1930 census suggests he was born about 1920 and lived in Ontario, New York State.
If anyone can provide further details then please let me know.