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Charles E Mendel

Military

Charles Mendel grew up in Indiana and worked as a teacher before the war.

After basic training, he was assigned to 303rd Bomb Group/ 359th Bomb Squadron on 23 July 1942, but was reassigned to the 401st Bomb Squadron of the 91st Bomb Group prior to the deployment of the 303BG to the UK and never served with the 303BG in the UK.

Charles was shot down on his fourth mission on 20 December 1942 in B-17F 41-24452 while serving as Co-Pilot. The aircraft was attacked by FW190s over the French coast and the pilot was killed. Charles ordered the crew to bail out and managed to belly-land the plane, saving the lives of three crew members still on board. He himself had been severely wounded made sure his crew received medical attention before he was treated.

After spending some time in hospital, he was held as a Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag 7A, Moosburg, Bavaria and was officially Returned to Military Control on 14 June 1945.

Service

Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron
  • 401st Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24452

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24452 was assigned to 91BG/401BS at Bangor 29-Aug-42; Bassingbourn 1-Oct-42. Despatched on 20-Dec-42 to bomb the German air depot at Romilly, France. Enemy aircraft KO’d tailplane and the aircraft crashed near Rouen, France. 3KIA 7POW MACR...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Burket, IN, USA 19 June 1916
Attended Indiana University. Indiana University, 107 South Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA 1937 – 1941
Lived in Seward, IN, USA 1 November 1941
Enlisted Texas, USA 8 November 1941

Camp Wolters.

Based Bassingbourn 14 October 1942 – 19 December 1942
Prisoner of War (POW) Moosburg, Germany 20 December 1942 – 14 June 1945

Held at Stalag 7A, Moosburg, Bavaria. Officially Returned to Military Control 14-Jun-45.

Lived in Sarasota, FL, USA 1954 – 11 July 2001
Retired from the Air Force 1962

Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Worked for Zimmer Orthopedic Company. Sarasota, FL, USA 1962 – 1987
Died Sarasota, FL, USA 11 July 2001

Aged 85.

Buried Palms Memorial Park, Sarasota, FL 34237, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2015 15:39:59 general ira snapsorter Changes to events
Sources

Combined two entries into a single entry. This record now includes information from the following source: MACR 16243/ Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database.
Correction of typographical errors.

Date Contributor Update
13 January 2015 14:44:36 Lucy May Changes to service number, biography and events
Sources

Enlistment record: http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=3&cat=all&tf=F...
Findagrave entry: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=136968158
Ancestry record: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/65522875/person/40139146333/facts
Obituary available via Google: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1787&dat=20010714&id=I0IgAAAAIBAJ&...

91st Bomb Group entry: http://www.americanairmuseum.com/unit/544

Indiana University basketball inventory of players: http://indylb-2135524474.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com/newsroom/production...
Photo from 1935-1936 season: http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?itemId=P0...

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 18:21:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and unit associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2014. Added crew position to biography. COMBINED 303BG/359BS data from a DUPLICATE entry based on original ingest of data from The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force and the 303BG roster from the 303BG website. Transfer from 303BG to 91BG confirmed by Gary Moncur, 303BG website historian, via e-mail between Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Moncur.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 18:04:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2014. Added crew position to biography per MACR 16243.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 17:47:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2014. Added POW event, service number per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database and MACR 16243; Made Place and Mission connections within existing data.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:05:35 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 16243, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Hey and Bishop p.54

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