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James M Bechtel


Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17 41-24464 'Excalibur' ditched into North Sea on 4 March 1943 after repeated fighter attacks. Losses reports Bechtel survived the ditching after floating in a life raft for 7 hours before a British minesweeper picked them up. He was killed in B-17 42-29537 which went down in the channel near France on mission to Rouen marshalling yards.

Purple Heart


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 324th Bomb Squadron

    324th Bomb Squadron

    Home of the Memphis Belle


  • 41-24464 Excalibur

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 13-Oct-42; transferred 324BS/91BG [DF-J] Bassingbourn 20-Feb-43; Missing in Action (MIA) 2m Hamm 4-Mar-43. Shot down by Lt Kostler (IV/NJG1) in Me 110, KO’d #1 & #3,oil pouring away before #4 was...


Event Location Date
Born Perkins County, Nebraska
Killed in action 28 March 1943


Date Contributor Update
24 November 2015 12:14:10 Lucyd Changes to events


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:41 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / History of the 91st BG, Combat Chronology Supplement p. 204, National WWII monument web site, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop and Hey p. 87