Submitted: I was discussing the concept of Memorial Day with a friend – paying tribute to fallen soldiers and all those fallen in the line of duty. I mentioned that I had noticed some veterans and servicemen amongst the graves in the Lakewood Frum Cemetery. He was very intrigued, and wanted to see for himself…
That’s how I found myself in the Bais Hachaim on Memorial Day. I also did some research to find out the stories behind the names.
I thank The Lakewood Scoop for publishing this, and making sure our forgotten heroes are remembered.
Tech Sergeant Harry V. Levine was the Radio Operator on the B-17 in Captain Raymond Belanger’s crew. The “Flying Fortress” they were in on October 6, 1944, was number 43-38136 nicknamed “Snow White”. They were on a daytime bombing run to ammunition dumps deep in the German area of Berlin/Spandau.
An immigrant from Poland, Harry had signed up November of 1942 to fight the evil that was killing his fellow Jews back in Europe. He entered the Army Air Force (as it was called then), and was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 486th Bomber Group, 833rd squadron, based in Sudbury, England. They had just changed from flying B-24 “Liberators” to their current aircraft in late July.
As was common during bombing runs, they endured accurate anti-aircraft “flak” fire, and enemy fighter plane attacks.
Although their fighter plane escorts, as well as the B-17’s own gunners fought off the attackers, Harry perished on that flight.
“Snow White” was quickly patched up and sent back into service with a different crew from the 835th Bomber Squadron. Sadly, it would be shot down on October 15th, 1944, killing all on board.
Four years later (August 1948) Harry’s body was returned home and laid to rest in the family burial plot here in Lakewood.