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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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8th Air Force
13.04.1944 339th Bomber Squadron B-17G 42-40016 ‘The Character’ 2nd Lt. John C. Daniel Jr.

Operation: Augsburg (Mission #301), Germany

Date: 13th April 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: 96th Bombardment Group (H), 339th Bombardment Squadron (H), 8th Air Force

Type: B-17G

Serial: 42-40016 The Character

Code: QJ:H

Base: Snetterton (Station #138), Norfolk, England

Location: 48 km SW of Augsburg, Germany

Pilot: 2nd.Lt. John C. Daniel Jr. O-1011837 AAF Age 25. Killed

Co-Pilot: 2nd.Lt. Joseph W. Kiska O-816742 AAF Age 24. PoW Unknown Camp

Navigator: 2nd.Lt. James G. Hatheway O-746810 AAF Age 24. PoW *

Bombardier: 2nd.Lt. Andrew F. Detmers O-703613 AAF Age? PoW *

Radio/Op: S/Sgt. John S. Drozd 11103690 AAF Age 28. PoW **

Engineer: S/Sgt. Charles E. Gilmore 15383262 AAF Age 21. Killed

Ball Turret: Sgt. Emery M. Radman 19084357 AAF Age 23. Killed

Right Waist: Sgt. James E. Preston 32871763 AAF Age? Killed

Left Waist: Sgt. Cyril Joseph Mullin 1720816 AAF Age 27. Killed

Tail: Sgt. James Phillip Curran 31132702 AAF Age 37. Killed

* Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang, today situated in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

** Stalag 17b Braunau Gneikendorf near Krems Austria

The crew L-R standing: S/Sgt. J. Drozd, Sgt. J. Preston, Sgt. E. Radman, Sgt. C. Mullin, Sgt. J. Pavia, S/Sgt. C. Gilmore, L-R kneeling: 2nd.Lt. J. Hatheway, 2nd.Lt. J. Daniel Jr, 2nd.Lt. J. Kiska, 2nd.Lt. A. Detmers


Nose art for "The Character". The aircraft was named after William Randall (Red) Rinehart who was on the ground crew. (Credit William J. Rinehart)

REASON FOR LOSS:

B-17G 42-40016 The Character took off from Snetterton on the morning of the 13th April 1944 on a mission to bomb the Bf 109 plant at Augsburg in Germany. The aircraft was hit by flak over Augsburg just after dropping its bombs.

After action reports recorded that #1 engine was on fire and 2 others were feathered. The Character was seen heading for Switzerland under control. The aircraft lost height rapidly and at about 8000 ft The Character nose dived and crashed near Jetzendorf, north of Munich.

It was reported that 2nd.Lt. Daniel Jr. and Sgt. Curran bailed out too late and their bodies were found near the aircraft wreckage. S/Sgt. Gilmore, Sgt. Radman, Sgt. Preston and Sgt. Mullin perished in the aircraft when it was hit by flak.

Burial details:

Those that perished were buried in the Communal Cemetery at Hochmutting near Schleißheim north of Munich, Germany. later they were reinterred in the Lorraine Cemetery. Sgt’s Gilmore, Mullin and Preston in Plot T-12-297 as they could not be individually identified.

2nd.Lt. John C. Daniel Jr. Repatriated and buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, Norfolk City, Virginia. Born on the 18th October 1918. Son to John Calhoun and Adeline (née Hall) Daniel of Norfolk City, Virginia, USA.

Above: Joint grave marker for Sgt. Gilmore, Sgt. Mullin and Sgt. Preston at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky,

S/Sgt. Charles E. Gilmore. Repatriated from Neuville-En-Condroz, Belgium on the 17th October 1950 and buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky, Common Grave C.425. Born on the 18th April 1923. Husband to Fern Olive (née Shumate) Gilmore of Montgomery, Indiana, USA.

Sgt. James E. Preston. Repatriated from Neuville-En-Condroz, Belgium on the 17th October 1950 and buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky, Common Grave C.425. Son to Mr and Mrs Robert M. Preston of Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Sgt. James Phillip Curran. Repatriated and buried at the Mount Hope Cemetery, Mattapan, Boston, Massachusetts. Born on the 4th April 1907. Son to James Thomas and Isabella (née Thompson) Curran and husband to Annie Veronica (née Diffily) Curran of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Sgt. Emery M. Radman. Repatriated and buried at the Calumut Park Cemetery, Merrillville, Indiana. Born on the 12th March 1921. Son to George and Frances (née Kobasic) Radman of Lake County, Indiana, USA.

Sgt. Cyril Joseph Mullin. Repatriated from Neuville-En-Condroz, Belgium on the 17th October 1950 and buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky, Common Grave C.425. Born on the 27th June 1917. Son to Frederick William and Helen Cecelia (née Fitzpatrick) Mullin of Walnut, Crawford, Kansas, USA.

Researcher Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered August 2016. With thanks to Jeff Morris for grave photograph - others from the Michel Beckers collection. Updated by Ralph Snape, Aircrew Remembered. Thanks to William J. Rinehart, the grandson of William Randall (Red) Rinehart, for the image of the nose art.

RS 14.12.2019 - Addition of nose art image

Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 02 May 2021, 15:44

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