Leslie B Palmer


Shot down 29 November 1943 in B-17 #42-6039, Prisoner of War (POW).


Leslie B Palmer was born on March 30, 1920, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  The family moved to Mason, Michigan and owned and operated the Palmer Grocery Store.  Leslie graduated from Mason High School in 1938.  He loved to fly and took private flying lessons.  He had his private pilot license when he was 17.  Les worked in the family grocery store and began dating Eleanor I. Favorite from Dansville.  On the fateful day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he told Eleanor he wanted to join the Army Air Corps and become a pilot.  He also wanted to marry Eleanor on the day he graduated from the Army Air Corps Advanced Flying School and received his wings.  On 5 April 1942, Les left for pilot training.  Les graduated from the Air Force Advanced Flying School at Stockton Field, CA on December 3, 1942, and he and Eleanor were married.  Eleanor followed Les from base to base and on April 16, 1943, Les was qualified as combat pilot and promoted to 1st Lieutenant.  On May 3, 1943, Les began his first hop flying his B-17 overseas and on May 11, 1943, arrived at the base in Framlingham, England.  He was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 13th Bomb Wing, 95th Bomb Group, 336th Squadron.

13 Jun 43:  Les’ first mission was Co-Pilot of the Blondie on a raid over Kiel, Germany.  The Blondie suffered battle wounds and limped back to England.  Just after crossing the English Channel, they crash landed in a barley field.  The crew was safe, but the Blondie was a total loss.

25 Jun 43:  Les’ first mission as Pilot was in the Cuddle Cat with a raid over Bremen and Hamburg.

29 Jun 43:  Second mission:  Cuddle Cat, LeMans, France.

10 Jul 43:  Third mission:  Cuddle Cat, LeBourget, France.

26 Jul 43:  Fourth mission: Devil’s Daughter, Hannover, Germany.

28 Jul 43:  Fifth mission:  Roger the Lodger II, Oschersleben, Germany.

12 Aug 43:  Sixth mission:  Cuddle Cat, Bonn (Wesseling), Germany.

27 Aug 43:  Seventh mission:  Terry & the Pirates, Watten, France.

5 Sep 43:  Eighth mission:  Brown’s Mule, Stuttgart, Germany.

15 Sep 43:  Ninth mission:  Destiny’s Tot, Paris (Billancourt), France.

3 Nov 43:  Tenth mission:  Patches, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

5 Nov 43:  Patches, Gilsenkirchen, Germany, Les had to abort the mission.

13 Nov 43:  Eleventh mission:  Devil’s Daughter #2, Bremen-Kiel, Germany.

19 Nov 43:  Twelfth mission:  Blondie III, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

26 Nov 43:  Thirteenth mission:  Blondie III, Paris, France.

29 Nov 43:  Fourteenth mission:  Blondie III, Bremen, Germany.  Les was shot down, MACR 1560, 9 POW, 1 KIA.  Les parachuted into a field outside Cloppenburg, Germany.  He was dragged (with injuries) to a farmer’s barn where the farmers were preparing to hang him when the Gestapo arrived.

Les was questioned by the S.S. then sent to Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany, where he was incarcerated for the duration of the war.  On 1 May 1945, the German guards departed and the POW’s began negotiating with the Russians to depart the prison camp.  On 12 May 1945, B-17’s began arriving at a nearby airfield and the POW’s were evacuated and flown to Camp Lucky Strike in France.

Les arrived back in the States and spent several weeks in the hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.  Eleanor joined him and when he had recovered, Les and Eleanor returned to Mason, Michigan.  


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

Units served with

The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32285521
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: waist gunner


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Destiny's Tot | Angel Pumpkin
  • Unit: 457th Bomb Group 95th Bomb Group Base Air Depot 2 336th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Blondie III
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron


Event Location Date Description


Prisoner of War (POW)

Germany 29 November 1943 - 20 May 1945


Mason, Michigan, USA    


Date19 Jul 2023 21:27:31
ChangesChanges to Summary Biography and Biography

Added some Punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid readability.

Date19 Jul 2023 21:19:01
ChangesChanges to Role

Removed extra info in the "Role/job" field.


Date13 Apr 2023 16:06:06

Information provided by Sheryl Palmer Wegmann, daughter of Leslie B Palmer.

Date13 Apr 2023 16:01:00

Information provided by Sheryl Palmer Wegmann, daughter of Leslie B Palmer.

Date8 Aug 2020 18:45:58
ChangesChanges to biography

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

Date27 Sep 2014 18:18:43
ChangesAAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1560 / MACR 1560,  Losses of 8th & 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop & Hey p. 391 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database