Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Joseph M Sleeping Bear


Bear grew up in Running Bird township, an Indian reservation in South Dakota. He belonged to the Sioux tribe.

Bear began his service in 1943, joining the 96th Bomb Group at Snetterton Heath. In 1944 he served Thanksgiving dinner to school children with a colleague, it was common for American bases to host local children, especially orphans, during the holiday season. Rationing meant that items in the feast being enjoyed at this table were in short supply – the ordinary allowance of butter and cheese was just 2 oz (50g) each per person per week.

After the war, Bear returned to Mellette, South Dakota where he married Violet Landeaux in 1958.


Units served with

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Associated Place

  • Snetterton Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Intended to be an RAF bomber base, construction of Snetterton Heath started in Autumn 1942 but continued until mid-1943, because it was extended after allocation as an Eighth Air Force bomber base. It had eventually three concrete runways, 50...


Event Location Date
Born Running Bird Township, South Dakota 1924
Died 1997


Date Contributor Update
11 March 2020 09:18:19 Emily Changes to surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, biography, events and place associations

IWM, Somewhere in England, 2015

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:20 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Snetterton Falcons, pg 206