Category Archives: Eighth Air Force Cemetery Belguim

Remembering My “Uncle Bob” who was killed in action on March 6, 1944

Robert Perkins standing on the far left and DG Zahler standing on far right were killed in action on March 6, 1944
Crew members of “Hell and High Water,” on March 6, 1944

Summary of My Uncle Bob’s Mission over Berlin, Germany on March 6, 1944


Technical Sergeant:  Serial Number 42-31869

#401 Hell and High Water (B-17 Bomber)

Mission on 06-March-1944

(2 KIA)

Target, Berlin (Erkner)

GERMANY. Ball Bearing Plant (The 91st Bomb Group  lost 6 B-17s 8th Air Force lost 69 Heavy Bombers on March 6, also called “Black Tuesday.”

Robert Francis Perkins was my Dad’s brother. (Francis Joseph Perkins, Jr)

The remaining fliers on “Hell and High Water,” bailed out of the aircraft safely and landed on German soil where they were held in a prison until the end of World War II.  Top Turret Gunner and Assistant Flight Engineer Perkins and Tail Gunner EG Zahler were killed in action on the mission.

Sergeants Perkins and Zahler are buried in the American Cemetery in the Ardennes, Belgium along with thousands of their Mighty Eighth Air Force buddies.

Today, soldiers from the Army of Belgium take meticulous care of the Perkins and Zahler grave sites.

“Lest we forget…”



They were assigned to the 91st Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force


Close up of my Uncle Bob at his base in England in 1944. I was born four years after Uncle Bob, died, but he still is my “favorite Uncle.”


Sergeants Perkins and Zahler are resting with their buddies from the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Belgium

“Lest We Forget.”