Charles was the youngest child and only son of Charles V Bowles Sr and Maude "Lovey" (Estes) Bowles. Born in Atlanta, GA, he moved at a young age with his parents first to Highland Park, Michigan, and then to Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from Hide Park Career Academy High School in 1940. He never married.
Charles served as the Radio Operator / 2nd Waist Gunner on the B-17G, #446140 'Miss Lace,' on 30 Nov 1944 when it encountered heavy flak over the target, the Brabag Synthetic Oil Plant just northeast of Zeitz, Germany. After a near explosion of flak, the plane lost its right wing and entered a vertical spiral while ablaze. It was at this point that Charles jumped from the plane to his death, or more probably, was sucked through the fuselage gash caused when the right wing sheared off the plane. He was the sole crew member whose remains were found within the municipality of Belgershain, Germany. The parachute strapped to his body had not been deployed. He wore his dog tags and a high school class ring engraved with his initials, "C V B."
Belgershain citizens buried his remains in their town cemetery, where they remained until the US Army exhumed them during late June of 1945. Identification of his remains was made from his military identification tag, his military dental records, and his class ring. His remains were re-interred in Ardennes American Cemetery, Neuville-en-Condroz, Arrondissement de liege, Liege Belgium, at his father's request.
Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
A native of Chicago, Bernard 'Bernie' Bonderski was the eldest son of a Polish immigrant father, Pawel 'Paul' Bonderski and Apolonia "Paulina" (Cholewinska, born in New Jersey) Bonderski. Bernard practiced the Roman Catholic faith. Bernie attended...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
Eugene Scott Bush was the second son and youngest child of Kansas farmers, Robert T Bush and Ola M (Osborn) Bush. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on 04 Aug 1943.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner / Enlisted | 379th Bomb Group
Chester "Chick" Mark Durham was the fourth surviving son of cotton share croppers, Cornelious Jordan Durham and Anita Melvina (Stephens) Durham. He was a talented wood worker and musician. He loved to laugh, kick up his heels, and have a good time. In...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
Shirley Clare Griffith was the son of Michigan natives, Carl W and Ethel Griffith. He attended Washington Gardner High School in Albion, MI. He enlisted in the Michigan State National Guard on 25 Sep 1940. He was inducted into the US Army on 24 Feb...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
Howard 'Howie' Griffith Mertens was the second son and youngest child born to native Californians, Ferdinand C Mertens and Margaret Mary (Griffith) Mertens, but his paternal grandparents were German immigrants. Howie graduated from Mission High School...
Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
Gilbert 'Gil' Jerome Schlesinger was the second son and youngest child of Samuel M and Celia Schlesinger, who practiced the Jewish faith. Gil never married and produced no known heirs.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
Stewart Welton Schoch was the second son of Pennsylvania natives, Paul Edward Schoch, a chauffeur, and Gertrude Lydia (Stewart) Schoch. Stewart was single when he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on 19 Apr 1943. He served as the Waist Gunner on the B...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 379th Bomb Group
Theodore 'Ted' Zivanidis was the eldest of three children born to Greek immigrants, Athanasious 'Thanos or Thomas' Zivanidis and Elizabeth (Krettecos) Zivanidis. Ted's father and his maternal uncle, James Krettecos co-owned and operated an Altoona, PA,...
Units served with
The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Tulsa, OK 5/14/44; Kearney, NE 5/24/44; Dow Field, Bangor, ME 1/6/44; Assigned 527BS/379BG Kimbolton, England 10/6/44; Missing in Action northeast of Zeitz, Germany on 11/30/44 with 8 crew Killed in Action: 1st Lt Gilbert J Schlesinger, Pilot...
Military site : airfield
Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....
||Atlanta, GA, USA
||30 November 1944
German burial in Belgershain town cemetery. Exhumed and reinterred in Plot A Row 42 Grave 32, Ardennes American Cemetery, Liege, Belgium.