ROSELAND, ROBERT HAROLD, First Lieutenant, # 0-811388, USAAF

 

Robert H. Roseland was born on 2 June 1920 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Joel Ephraim Roseland (Halmstad, Halland, Sweden) (1882-1960) and Violet H. (Keiper) Roseland (1895-1980). Siblings included June Helene (Roseland) Reed (1922-1994), Karla Phyllis (Roseland) Becker (1924-1994), and Anne M. (Roseland) Stuyvesant (1926-2013). He was married to Elizabeth Doris (Hermann) Powalisz nee Roseland (1925-2009). They had a daughter.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF 25 July 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as an aviation cadet. He was selected for navigator training on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings at Monroe Airfield, Louisiana. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force, India, then to an advance airfield in China. On 7 December 1944, B-29, # 42-6390, “Gallopin’ Goose,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of the enemy iron works at Mukden, Manchria. Capt. Parrish was the pilot in command. 1stLt Roseland was the navigator. It was last seen at 0210 Zulu over the target. Enemy fighter collided with B-29, 42-6390, over the target. SSgt. William Wooten, a gunner in another B-29, reported: The enemy fighter came at them and Wooten fired at it at about 400 yards. The fighter’s right engine started smoking and burning. Wooten saw the canopy fly off. It started down then pulled up and slipped under B-29 # 42-6390 and hit the left horizontal and vertical stabilizer and the parts broke away. Wooten saw one parachute come out of 42-6390 before it crashed. Japanese pilot Sergeant Shinobu Ikeda reported intentionally ramming 42-6390. He was able to bail out and survived. TSgt Arnold G. Pope managed to bail out and was the sole survivor. He saw the B-29 crash and saw no other parachutes. A typed report stated “Mukden aircraft factory receives another barrage from B-29s, who made a daylight attack on 7 Dec 1944. . Superfortresses met their greatest aerial opposition on this mission, destroyed 26 Jap fighters, probably destroyed 13 more and damaged 24. Mukden was previously hit by the 20th Air Force on 28 July 1944.