United States Army Air Force, Fifteenth Air Force, 98th Bomb Group, 345th Bomb Squadron
Killed in action on Tuesday 12 September 1944, aged 19
Frederick was born to parents Joseph Peter Masset (1895-1966) and Esther Marie Calderaro (1896-1998) on 14 July 1925. His great grandparents were of German and Italian ancestry. In 1930 he was living in New Orleans with his parents who were running a grocery store, and younger sister Rita Mae. His father had served in the Great War, and he enlisted in the USAAF on 7 July 1943 at New Orleans, where he was described as single with no dependents.
Frederick Masset was a gunner with the 345th Bomb Squadron (98th Bomb Group) who were flying B-24 Consolidated Liberators from Leece in Italy, as part of the bombing campaign in central & south east Europe. This area included a number of German targets.
The mission on 12 September 1944 was to bomb two targets, Munich (aero engine works) and Lechfeld airfield, Frederick was flying in B-24J 44-40324 ‘Pappy’. It was involved with a mid-air collision with another B-24 from the same squadron 42-50417 ‘Dot’s Queen of Queens’ and the following casualties occurred:-
First Lieutenant Robert T Adams, Pilot, Killed In Action
Second Lieutenant Melvin L Cohen, Bombardier, Killed In Action
Staff Sergeant Nicholas J Curci, Gunner, Killed In Action/See side panel
Technical Sergeant Robert A Emond, Radioman, Killed In Action
Second Lieutenant Albert C LeQuellec Jnr, Navigator, Killed In Action
Staff Sergeant Frederick J Masset, Gunner, Killed In Action
Staff Sergeant Charles A Ragsdale, Gunner, Killed In Action
Staff Sergeant Henry Schreier, Gunner, Prisoner Of War (Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow Pomerania, Prussia, then Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust, then Usedom Bei Savenmunde)/Returned
Technical Sergeant Eugene F Sli(c)ker, Engineer, Killed In Action/See side panel
Flight Officer John A Snyder, Co-Pilot, Prisoner Of War (Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia )/Returned
42-50417 ‘Dot’s Queen of Queens’
Technical Sergeant Paul Ackerman, Radioman, Missing In Action
Second Lieutenant Paul K Brenner, Bombardier, Missing In Action
Staff Sergeant James W Elliott, Gunner, Prisoner Of War (Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria, then Nuremberg-Langwasser)/Returned
Staff Sergeant Nolan F Howe, Gunner, Prisoner Of War (Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow Pomerania, Prussia, then Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust, then Usedom Bei Savenmunde)/Returned
First Lieutenant John K Mayfield, Pilot, Prisoner Of War (Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia)/Returned
Staff Sergeant John A McLean, Gunner, Missing In Action
Technical Sergeant Wirt G Shinault, Engineer, Killed In Action (Buried: Plot D Row 32 Grave 32 Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France
Second Lieutenant Lawrence S Timpson, Navigator, Missing In Action
Second Lieutenant John J Tiska, Co-Pilot, Missing In Action
Staff Sergeant Rudolph Woodring, Gunner, Missing In Action
Many thanks to Dave Hatherell for help with information regarding this aircraft loss and to Chanda Keith for the local research. The crew listings are based upon the B-24 database by The Pyramiders (98th Bomb Group Veterans).
Section X Site 31,Knoxville National Cemetery, 939 Tyson Street, Knox County, Tennessee.
Frederick Masset’s body was returned to the United States and interred on Friday 7 July 1950, nearly six years after his death. Two other members of the ‘Pappy’ crew were buried here at the same time; Staff Sergeant Nicholas Curci from Norwood in Connecticut, and Technical Sergeant Eugene F Sli(c)ker from Ashley in Pennsylvania. It was reported in the Knoxville Journal that this cemetery was chosen as it was centrally located within the three home towns.