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John Joseph Vail


Assigned to 412BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down 11-Jun-43 in B-17 42-29693. Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2807

Awards: AM, PH.



  • Malcolm MacKinnon

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 412BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Bremen, Germany. Shot down 11-Jun-43 in B-17 42-29693. Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2807. Awards: AM, PH.

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 412th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-29693 'Lonesone Polecat'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/2/43; Rapid City 20/2/43; Kearney 12/3/43; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-O] Alconbury 29/3/43; t/o Framlingham (6m), Missing in Action Cuxhaven 11/6/43 with Malcolm MacKinnon, Co-pilot: Gene Wood, Navigator: Dick Miller, Bombardier:...


  • VIII Bomber Command 62

    11 June 1943
    The harbour facilities, port areas and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven and Cuxhaven, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. This is the largest number of heavy bombers yet despatched on a single mission - 252. This is the first mission flown...

Associated Place

  • Horham

    Military site : airfield
    Horham airfield was planned and built for RAF use, but handed over to the Eighth Air Force and used initially by the 47th Bomb Group. When they joined the Twelfth Air Force in January 1943, it became home to the B-26 Marauders of the 323rd Bomb Group....


Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois, USA 8 October 1908

Son of John J and Catherine [Cullens] Vail.

Enlisted Chicago, IL 27 March 1942

Chicago, Illinois

Based Horham 1943 – 11 June 1943

Assigned to 412BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died North Sea 11 June 1943

Shot down 11-Jun-43 in B-17 42-29693. Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2807

Buried 1946

Tablets of the Missing Netherlands American Cemetery
Netherlands , Margraten


Date Contributor Update
20 November 2020 13:10:16 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
08 July 2020 21:09:39 jmoore43 Changes to biography

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

Date Contributor Update
10 May 2017 17:12:40 Al_Skiff Changes to place associations and mission associations

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
31 August 2016 11:42:45 A. van Erp Changes to service number, awards and events

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:19 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2807 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database