ZAGAN, Poland — Capt. Robert Stanley, the brigade assistant intelligence officer assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division always had an interest in history, and after learning of his great-uncle’s involvement in WWII, he was inspired to research it more.

“I love history, for me, all the sacrifices made by servicemembers put me in a position that I’m in,” said Capt. Stanley. “If I’m going to appreciate those things, I must investigate it.”

Capt. Stanley went on to say that this is a way to put a face to a story that he’s attached to. He encourages everyone to look into their family history because you may be impressed with what you find.

The Stanley family’s service to the United States armed forces date back as far as the Civil War. Although many people were drafted into the United States Army when the Nazis began their conquest of the world, Sgt. Everett W. Stanley continued his family’s legacy by enlisting into the U.S. Army Air Corps as a ball turret gunner with the 401st bomb group, 613th squadron.

“My great uncle volunteered after the beginning of WWII,” said Capt. Stanley.

At the beginning of WWII, there wasn’t an organic Air Force. It was part of the U.S. Army as the Air Corps, which was originally formed in 1917 during WWI. After enlisting, Sgt. Stanley was stationed at Deenethorpe Airfield in England where he flew the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

While stationed at Deenethorpe Airfield, Sgt. Stanley met his crew consisting of 2nd Lt. Donald E. Butterfoss, pilot, 2nd Lt. Robert L. Westfall, co-pilot, Bernard J. Boyle, flight navigator, 2nd Lt. Robert C. Kerpen, bombardier, Sgt. Roger R. McCauley, radio operator, Sgt. Alfred J. Truskowski, engineer & top turret gunner, Sgt. William H. Lee, tail gunner, Sgt. William E. Watkins, left waist gunner and Sgt. John W. Reeves, right waist gunner. During their WWII deployment, they were known as “The Saint and Ten Sinners”.

Sgt. Stanley and his crew conducted several missions out of Deenthorpe, their most significant being the largest bombing run during WWII during that specific timeframe.