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Horace F Kepler


Prisoner of War (POW) Hit by flak and crashed near Caen on 8/8/44 in B-17 #42-102669. Flew 32 missions. Lt. Sidney Wolfe was the original crew when he arrived at Thurleigh. Lt. Herbert Bloom and Kepler flew their first mission with Lt. Charles J. Kinsey, Jr. On 4 Jan 1944 they flew their first mission as a crew [S. Wolfe crew]. His heated suit shorted out and his face and hand was frostbit. He was grounded for a few days. On 5 Jan 1944 the crew went back to Kiel and was shot down, without Kepler. When Andrew Kata's crew arrived to the squadron, they were short a waist gunner and then Kepler was assigned to his crew. They were shot down on their last mission to Caen, France.




  • Charles Kinsey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    20 Dec 43 B-17 developed oxygen problems and Bombardier Bloom died. Kinsey returned the plane to England.

Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-102669 DAMYANKEE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/3/44; Kearney 15/4/44; Grenier 29/4/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-G] Thurleigh 24/5/44; Missing in Action Cauvincourt, Fr 8/8/44 with Andy Kata, Co-pilot: George Simons, Navigator: Ray Bleker, togg-Phil Mundell, Flight engineer/top...

Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Born Bloomington, Illinois, USA 10 February 1923
Prisoner of War (POW) Germany 8 August 1944 – 24 May 1945
Died 8 July 2011
Buried Christian County, Illinois, USA

Adams Gorden Cemetery


Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 20:29:10 jmoore43 Changes to events

Added Birth and Burial info to events per Find-a-grave Memorial ID 73205642.

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 19:29:29 jmoore43 Changes to events

Updated POW event per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA)

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 19:25:47 jmoore43 Changes to role

Removed redundant data from the Role field.

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 19:22:24 jmoore43 Changes to person associations

Added a connection to his pilot, Charles J. Kinsey, mentioned in the "Summary biography".

Date Contributor Update
19 April 2020 19:52:42 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "-" to the A/C serial # in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
14 February 2016 21:10:23 JCKep52 Changes to nickname and awards

This information has been updated by son, James C Kepler

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:13:10 AAM AAM ingest

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition MACR 8434, NARA, First Over Germany pg. 266, 306th BGA Collection, Russell Strong Index Cards, / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8434 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database /