Tuesday, January 23, 2018

WW2 Fallen - B-24 copilot Roland Grisell

Lt. Roland Grisell was a B-24 copilot in the 392nd Bombardment Group.
Roland Grisell never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on January 23, 1918, probably in Colorado. I think his mother was Ann Grisell who was born in Iowa and divorced his father. By 1940 Rolland had completed four years of high school and was working as a ticket seller. He was living in Portland Oregon with his mom who worked as a waitress. He married Opal Spelbrink in April 1942.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces in June 1942 and got his officer's commission one year later. He became a second lieutenant and B-24 copilot in the 578th Bombardment Squadron, 392nd Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. Before his death, Lt. Grisell completed 15 combat missions.

On April 9, 1944 the 578th BS was part of a mission to bomb the FW-190 airfield at Tutow, Germany. Conditions were foggy at the airbase and Lt. Grisell's bomber collided with another B-24 at 7,000 feet, just minutes after takeoff. The left wing and tail broke off. Between the two planes, only four men parachuted to safety.

His grave is at Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, Oregon. I don't know what happened to his widow.

Thank you Roland for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Roland.

Last year on this date I profiled Quincey Humphries, a tanker who fought the Japanese in the Philippines in December 1941. You can read about Quincey here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

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