ZIEGLER, ROBERT L., Corporal, # 16155741, USAAF
Robert L. Ziegler was born on 11 October 1925 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Herman A. Ziegler (1895-1926) and Hazel Beatrice (French) Kuhrt nee Ziegler (1897-1970). A brother was Ervin William Ziegler (1918-1999), Charles Louis Ziegler (1919-1923), and Mildred A. Ziegler (1923-1981). In 1940 they were living with his maternal grandmother, Anna C. French (1875- ) (widowed). On 4 August 1943 he married Beverly G. Johnson in Seattle, King Co., Washington, before a Justice of the Peace and she was living with his mother when he died.
He enlisted in the USAAF in Milkwaukee, Wisconsin, on 1 December 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force, India, then to an advance airfield in China. On 7 December 1944, B-29 Superfortress # 42-6359, “Vixen,” assigned to 20th Air Force at Piardoba, India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadron (Very Heavy), departed its forward airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a mission to bomb the aircraft construction and iron works at Mukden, Manchuria (China). Sgt. Corton was the senior gunner. Sgt. Peacock was the right waist unner. Sgt. Diorio was the left waist gunner. Cpl. Ziegler was the tail gunner. Weather conditions were bad and visibility poor, requiring IFR flight rules throughout the mission. At about 0422 hours Zulu, it was last seen near Sianfu, China, low on fuel at last contact. Capt. Harold R. Ebbeler, 0-367116. He reported that his B-29 and 42-6359 was in the same element on the mission. He heard Capt. Johnson call the lead aircraft and state he was going to have to land at an airfield enroute and refuel. 42-359 stayed in formation as it entered overcast. The aircraft lost visual contact with one another and had to fly IFR. It was in the area of the Tsinglung Range and the Wie Ho River. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His brother, Ervin W. Ziegler, born 1918, enlisted in the U.S. Army on 21 September 1942. He died 27 June 1999 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was survived by his wife and a son.