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.
Eugene served as the Tail 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. Bush escaped the burning plane, deployed his parachute, and floated down to the ground.
From his vantage point suspended beneath an open chute, Eugene was the nearest of two witnesses to view the demise of his plane. He testified to the events that he witnessed after he was released from a German POW camp in 1945. He stated that about three minutes after the bomb drop over the mission's target, the plane was hit, went into a spin, and he jumped. Once he got his bearings, he saw that his plane was ablaze and in a dive. Small pieces of debris were braking away from the plane and raining down upon him. The plane's tail and waist broke away from the fuselage as a unit, but he noted no other parachutes in the sky.
Upon reaching solid ground, he set out across country in an attempt to evade capture. He made it to within 59 miles of the Czech border when he was picked up at the Altenburg Rail Station in Altenburg, Thurindia, Germany. Held as a Prisoner of War, he was returned to the States and discharged from the US Army Air Corps on 07 Nov 1945.
After the War, Eugene graduated from Kansas State College of Agricultural and Applied Sciences in Manhattan, KS, married, and established a family.
Sole survivor of the crash of the B-17G "Miss Lace." German POW -- Survivor
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 | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
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, then Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from Hide...
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...
||Douglas, Kansas, USA
||26 March 1925
|Prisoner of War (POW)
||30 November 1944
Captured at the Altenburg Rail Station, Altenburg, Thuringia, Germany. Survived the War.
||Wichita, KS, USA
||16 May 1991