Kenneth E Blackburn

Military

Object Number - UPL 22817 - Kenneth E Blackburn

Kenneth E Blackburn was the co-pilot of a B-24 called “What's Cookin Doc” and the crew flew almost all of the missions with this B-24 out of Attlebridge with the 466th Bomb Group.

The history for this flight crew did have some exciting moments but they all survived, with only Kenneth Blackburn becoming a prisoner of war along with one other man in an incident that occurred on the 17th mission going into Germany on the 18th of July 1944. They were climbing up to a higher altitude when the wings started to ice up, as a consequence the plane went into a dive and it took both Kenneth and the captain Roy Hurst to pull it out. The navigator Arnold Reberg recalled that it was a real scramble for the bombardier (William Foreman) and himself, because Foreman did not bring his parachute and tail gunner Alexander Nobel said everything was all over the place. Soon the aircraft levelled out, but the bombs were dangling in the racks. At that time Kenneth Blackburn and another man went to check it out. Kenneth was off oxygen and did not realize they were still above 20,000ft when the plane went into a second dive while Kenneth was back with the bombs, so out went the bombs and Kenneth too!

The plane came home minus the bombs and two men. Luckily Kenneth was wearing a parachute and was captured spending the remainder of the war as a POW in Stalag Luft One.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

Three little girls hold up a balloon celebrating the 100th mission of the 466th Bomb Group in front of a B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-95592) nicknamed "Black Cat". Handwritten caption on reverse: 'On our 100 Mission party Day- 18 Aug 1944, Attlebridge, 466th- wouldn't it be something if we could identify these girls? How could I do it?'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group
  • Service Numbers: O-755692
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group
  • Service Numbers: O-707545
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: What's Cookin Doc
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Warchamp
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 784th Bomb Squadron 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Crow's Nest
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
A B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-95248) nicknamed "The Falcon" of the 466th Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'B-24H-25-10. The Falcon, 42-95248 466 BG 2U-U.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: The Falcon
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 785th Bomb Squadron

Places

Aerial photograph of Attlebridge airfield, looking north, the fuel store and a T2 hangar are in the upper centre, 31 January 1946. Photograph taken by No. 90 Squadron, sortie number RAF/3G/TUD/UK/51. English Heritage (RAF Photography).
  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Attlebridge Arsenal, Station 120

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Pittsburgh, PA, USA 20 June 1918

Enlisted

Dormont, PA, USA 15 July 1941

Other

POW

Barth, Germany 21 July 1944 Stalag Luft I

Died

22 June 1985

Other

Bailed Out/Captured

Germany 18 July 1944 The history for this flight crew did have some exciting moments but they all survived, with only Kenneth Blackburn becoming a prisoner of war along with one other man in an incident that occurred on the 17th mission going into Germany on the 18th of July 1944. They were climbing up to a higher altitude when the wings started to ice up, as a consequence the plane went into a dive and it took both Kenneth and the captain Roy Hurst to pull it out. The navigator Arnold Reberg recalled that it was a real scramble for the bombardier (William Foreman) and himself, because Foreman did not bring his parachute and tail gunner Alexander Nobel said everything was all over the place. Soon the aircraft levelled out, but the bombs were dangling in the racks. At that time Kenneth Blackburn and another man went to check it out. Kenneth was off oxygen and did not realize they were still above 20,000ft when the plane went into a second dive while Kenneth was back with the bombs, so out went the bombs and Kenneth too! The plane came home minus the bombs and two men. Luckily Kenneth was wearing a parachute and was captured spending the remainder of the war as a POW in Stalag Luft One.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA 46 Overlook Drive
Schenectady, NY, USA

Revisions

Date20 Apr 2020 10:04:30
Sources

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/3147/41226_2421401696_0752-00274?pi...
"Attlebridge Diaries" - John Woolnough, page 93

Date20 Apr 2020 00:55:05
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date24 Jul 2016 23:38:04
ContributorJustyn Keeble
Sources

Information supplied by Kenneth Blackburn Jr

Date6 Jul 2016 00:37:26
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date12 Apr 2016 22:16:52
ContributorJustyn Keeble
Sources

Serial number obtained from World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946, The National Archives (USA) Access to Archival Databases.

Date12 Apr 2016 22:12:09
ContributorJustyn Keeble
Sources

Story relayed by Kenneth W Blackburn, son of Kenneth E Blackburn.

Date12 Apr 2016 22:09:51
ContributorJustyn Keeble
Sources

Story relayed by the son of Kenneth E Blackburn.

Date11 Apr 2016 23:58:15
ContributorJustyn Keeble
Sources

Information from Ken Blackburn Jr (Son)

Date11 Apr 2016 23:55:41
ContributorJustyn Keeble
Sources

Information from Ken Blackburn Jr (Son)

Date27 Sep 2014 18:17:51
ContributorAAM
Sources

MACR 8117 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Kenneth E Blackburn: Gallery (6 items)