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Benjamin F Duke


Joined squad 3 August 1942. Shot down 27 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23776 'Spirit of '76' while serving as Radio Operator. Target was Wilhelmshaven, but weather conditions were poor. Plane was attacked by FW 190s, caught fire, exploded and crashed on Terschelling Island, Holland. Killed in Action (KIA).


Units served with

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 68th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-23776 Spirit of 76

    B-24 Liberator
    On 27-Jan-43 B-24D 41-23776 "Spirit of 76" was on a mission to bomb the naval installation at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The pilot was unable to located the target due to weather and navigation problems. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and shot down...


  • VIII Bomber Command 32

    2 February 1943
    All six 8th Air Force Bomb Groups operting from Great Britain are ordered on a mission to bomb the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. 61 B-17s and 22 B-24s are despatched but the formation runs into severe weather over the North Sea and the mission in...

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...


Event Location Date
Born Clanton, Alabama, USA
Killed in Action (KIA) Terschelling, Netherlands 27 January 1943

Killed when aircraft was shot down by enemy aircraft and crashed at Terschelling Island, Holland.

Buried 1945

Originally buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery but after the war his remains were repatriated and re-interred in the Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.


Date Contributor Update
16 February 2015 18:53:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 16-Feb-2015. Added SN & KIA event per MACR 15459; Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added decorations Burial event ,crew position and loss details to Biography based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE;

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:23 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15459 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Webb Todd, MACR 15459, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Bishop and Hey p. 68