Skip to main content
Edit entry 

John M Bennett


Originally assigned to 303BG/359BS as a pilot at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho on 15-Apr-42. However, he was reassigned to 97BG prior to the 303BG's deployment to Molesworth in September 1942. Date of reassignment not determined.

Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 41-24344 97BG/404BS while serving as Pilot. Prisoner of War (POW).


Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron
  • 414th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24344

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BS/92BG Bovingdon 20-Aug-42; 414BS/97BG Polebrook 28-Aug-42; Missing in Action on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. This was 97th's first mission 21-Oct-42, shot down and crashed Plouescat, near Morlaix, France. 8KIA 2POW...


  • VIII Bomber Command 15

    21 October 1942
    German U-Boat pens are Lorient, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission along with the German airfield at Cherbourg, France. 93BG despatches 24-B-24s to Lorient, but cloud cover prevents them from bombing. The main attack force to Lorient...

Associated Place

  • Polebrook

    Military site : airfield
    Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...


Event Location Date
Born Denver, Colorado, USA
Prisoner of War (POW) Vogelsang, 18356 Barth, Germany 21 October 1942 – 29 April 1945

Held at Stalag Luft 1, Barth-Vogelsang, Prussia. Officially Returned to Military Control (RMC) 29-Apr-45


Date Contributor Update
03 December 2014 13:11:32 Lucy May Changes to unit associations

Changed Connection from '359 Bomb Squadron', which is becoming redundant, to '359th Bomb Squadron'.

Date Contributor Update
19 November 2014 22:07:54 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and place associations

Lee Cunningham 19-Nov-2014. Assignment to 303BG based on ingest of data in a DUPLICATE entry from the Eighth Air Force Museum, Savannah, Georgia . 303BG association and disposition in the Summary Biography confirmed by Mr. Gary Moncur, website historian 303 BG, via inquiry of Mr. Moncur through an e-mail to Mr. Moncur by Mr. Cunningham.

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2014 21:43:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Lee Cunningham 18-Nov-2014. Combination of records of 303BG/359BS drawn from the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15352 added to resolve a duplicate entry.

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2014 18:04:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to awards

Le Cunningham 18-Nov-2014. Added decorations.

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2014 18:02:39 Lee8thbuff Changes to events

Lee Cunningham 18-Nov-2014. Edited POW event.

Date Contributor Update
28 October 2014 18:47:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 28-Oct-2014. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 15352; National Archives records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:25 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15352 / MACR 15352, Losses of the 8th and 9th AF Vol. 1 by Bishop and Hey, p. 38 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database