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David H Thimmes


Hometown: Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio

David Thimmes was a gunner on 'Funny Face' piloted by 1st Lieut. Wilfred Potis, B-24 with 706th Sqdn. 446th BG operating from Bungay in Norfolk. On their 22nd mission - an attack on a German airfield - hit by flak they lost an engine and another was failing so Potis decided to divert to Brussels. The crew were flown back to base by a C-47 and operated a different Liberator for their next dozen missions. The crew however remained nostalgic for 'Funny Face' and still hoped to fly her for their 35th and final trip. On that very day they discovered the plane was back at Bungay but not yet cleared to take to the air. Their original mission that day had been scrubbed due to bad weather and they were all jubilant when the skies cleared sufficiently for 'Funny Face' to be test flown that same afternoon. For a test flight only the two pilots, navigator, radio-operator and engineer are required so the gunners were not on board but they were carrying one of the ground crew. The plane was to visit North Pickering - home of the 491st BG - and see a friend of the flight engineer. Conditions meantime had deteriorated once again and on the return journey 'Funny Face' was diverted to an RAF field near Cambridge. What followed is unclear but witnesses said the B-24 appeared to dive straight in at top speed. The six men on board were killed instantly, all found to be at their normal stations, the cause of the crash 'undetermined'. The six men were buried at the American Military Cemetery at Madingley.



  • Herbert Fenster

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 446th Bomb Group

  • Arthur Hagesteary

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 446th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Howard Hirsch

    Military | 446th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Darrel Holler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 446th Bomb Group
    Air medal w/olc

  • Warren Monoghan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 446th Bomb Group
    34 missions from October 1944 to May 1945. Five crew members killed in crash 27 April 1944. AM w/ 4 Oak Leaf Cluster/ GC/ ETO w/ 3 battle stars/ WW II VM

  • Wilfred Potis

    Military | First Lieutenant | 446th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-24. Aircraft disintegrated in flight near Cambridge on a night transition flight.

  • Willard Swartz

    Military | 446th Bomb Group

  • John Vossler

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 446th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-24. Aircraft disintegrated in flight near Cambridge on a night transition flight.

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Units served with

  • 446th Bomb Group

    446th Bomb Group

    The 446th Bomb Group, who came to be known as "the Bungay Buckaroos" after the name of their Suffolk base, flew B-24 Liberators on strategic, support and interdictory missions over Europe. The Group led the Eighth Air Force and 2nd Bomb Division on the...

  • 706th Bomb Squadron


Associated Place

  • Bungay

    Military site : airfield
    From late November 1943, the three bases of Bungay, Seething and Hardwick were the stations of the 20th Combat Wing of the Eighth Air Force. The base had previously housed individual squadrons of the 310th Bomb Group (Twelfth Air Force) and of the 93rd...


Event Location Date
Born 1923
Died 1993


Date Contributor Update
04 October 2019 10:54:43 general ira snapsorter Changes to role, biography, events and aircraft associations

Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from correspondence files and articles related to the service of David Thimmes.

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2015 15:59:20 irwinthi Changes to person associations and unit associations

Crew photos (Tim Irwin collection)

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2015 15:42:18 irwinthi Changes to nickname, highest rank, role, biography, awards, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations

I, Tim Irwin, am the grandson of Dave Thimmes on my mother's side.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:03 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /