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John A Ball Jr


Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24506 'The Shiftless Skonk' while serving as Navigator. Aircraft crashed near Watford/Leavesden on returning from a mission. Plane had been attacked by fighters. At rest at the Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 324th Bomb Squadron

    324th Bomb Squadron

    Home of the Memphis Belle


  • 41-24506 The Shiftless Skonk

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B17-F 41-24506 'The Shiftless Skonk; was assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-G] Bangor 2-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 29-Sep-42; Despatched on 23-Nov-1942 to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The Group was unable to bomb because of 10/10 cloud cover and headed...


  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...


Event Location Date
Born Mississippi
Killed on Mission (KOM) Leavesden Aerodrome, Watford, Hertfordshire WD25 7BZ, UK 23 November 1942

Killed when severely damaged aircraft returned from aborted mission to St. Nazaire and crashed into a field at Watford/Leavesden, UK

Buried 25 November 1942

Cambridge American Cemetery, Plot D, Row 3, Grave 27


Date Contributor Update
13 September 2018 19:38:19 Jeff Coleman Changes to biography

jeff coleman

Date Contributor Update
02 December 2014 19:56:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events

Lee Cunningham 2-Dec-2014. Edited crash location per "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2014 21:34:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 7-Nov-2014. "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 13:33:18 John H Changes to service number

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:33 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. One by Bishop and Hey, p. 49