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Joseph Houston Bennett

Military

Born 25-Nov-18. Joe Bennett hailed from Morton, Texas. Educated at Abilene Christian College and Eastern New Mexico University, prior to enlisting in the USAAC 25-Apr-41. Commissioned 2nd Lt and awarded his wings at Stockton Field, California 31-Dec-41.
Initially assigned to 54th FG flying P-39’s he was transferred to 356th FS, 360th FG Mar-43 at Groton Field, Connecticut flying P-47’s and thereafter to Goxhill, England by Aug/Sep-43. Transferred to 61st FS, 56th FG Nov-43 where he had his first victory, a Me-110 on 20-Dec-44. On 8-Mar-44, in an encounter with 100-150 Luftwaffe fighters, he downed two Me-109s and an Fw-190 to become an "Ace". Transferred to 336th FS, 4th FG Apr-44. On 15-Apr-44 he had a midair collision in P-51B 42-106686 and baled out into the North Sea with a broken shoulder. He was soon picked up by a Walrus seaplane and returned to base. Off Op’s for a month. On 25-May-44 he destroyed two Me-109s and two Fw-190s. He was then rammed by a frustrated Luftwaffe pilot, namely Oberfahnrich Hubert Heckman in a Me109 which severed his tail section, and he baled out over Botenheim, Germany from P-51 43-6572 spending time in a German hospital before being transferred to Stalag Luft VIIa prison camp as a POW for the remainder of the war. MACR 5720.
Part of the army of occupation, he was promoted to Major prior to leaving active duty in January 1946. Credited 8 1/2 enemy aircraft kills.

Awards: DFC (2 OLC), AM (3 OLC), PH (OLC), POW, EAME (4 Bronze stars), OCC.

Post war: Took up farming in West Texas. After 10 years he moved to Clifton, Texas, and operated a resort on Lake Whitney. After 20 years with the US Army Corps of Engineers he retired in 1980.

Service

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. ...

  • 56th Fighter Group

    56th Fighter Group

    Group
    Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...

  • 360th Fighter Squadron
  • 61st Fighter Squadron

Aircraft

  • 43-6572

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Thomas K McDill, re-assigned to Capt Joseph H Bennett 24-May-44. Failed to Return (FTR) during an engagement with a gaggle of German fighters, aircraft was rammed by an Bf109 piloted by Ltn...

  • 42-106686 'Ann III' 'Lois'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 328FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF.

  • 42-22790

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Capt Joseph H Bennett. Transferred war weary to 789BS, 467BG, 8AF USAAF. Abandoned after mid air collision, pilot Lt Walter R Smith RTD.

  • 42-75269

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 513FS, 406FG, 9AF USAAF.

Missions

Associated Place

  • Boxted

    Military site : airfield
    Boxted was built for heavy bombers and became operational from May 1943. In the few months B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group were stationed there, there were two night attacks by the Luftwaffe. On 17 August 1943, one man was killed when bombs...

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Goxhill

    Military site : airfield
    Goxhill opened in June 1941 as an RAF Bomber Command airfield, before being handed over to RAF Fighter Command in December. The Eighth Air Force took ownership in August 1942, and used the airfield, which they quickly dubbed 'Goat Hill' for operational...

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

  • Stalag VII-A

    Other location

  • Eagle Squadrons Memorial

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Marlow, OK, USA 25 November 1918
Lived in Morton, Texas, USA 1940
Enlisted Oklahoma, USA 26 April 1941

Enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the US Army Air Forces on April 26, 1941.

Commissioned/Awarded wings Field Ave, Stockton, CA 95203, USA 12 December 1941

Commissioned a 2nd Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Stockton Field, California, on December 12, 1941

Promotion Martlesham Heath, Martlesham, Ipswich, UK 1943

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Based March 1943 – November 1943

Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Groton, CT - Mitchel Field, NY - Grenier Field, NH.

Based Martlesham Heath November 1943 – April 1944

Transferred to 61FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF.

Promotion Martlesham Heath, Martlesham, Ipswich, UK November 1943

Promoted to Captain.

Based Debden April 1944 – 25 May 1944

Transferred to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

Ditched in Channel English Channel 15 May 1944

Forced to ditch in the Channel after mid-air collision on way home to Debden; picked up by ASR launch. Off Ops for a month.

Prisoner of War (POW) Moosburg, Germany 25 May 1944 – May 1945

Spent time in a German hospital before being transferred to Stalag 7A in Moosburg, Bavaria, until his camp was liberated.

Mid air collision Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Botenheim, Fuchsienstraße 7, 74336 Brackenheim, Germany 25 May 1944

During an engagement with a gaggle of German fighters, his aircraft was rammed by an ME-109 piloted by Lt. Hubert Heckman over Botenheim, Germany. Bennett was able to bail out of the stricken fighter P-51 #436572, spending time in a German hospital before being transferred to a prison camp. (MACR 5720).

E/A Destroyed Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Botenheim, Fuchsienstraße 7, 74336 Brackenheim, Germany 25 May 1944

Destroyed 2 x Bf109's over Botenheim, Germany.

Promoted January 1946

Promoted to Major/retired.

Buried Dallas, TX, USA August 2000

Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery
Dallas
Dallas County
Texas
USA

Died Dallas, TX, USA 15 August 2000

Died - 15 August 2000 Dallas, TX.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 14:02:36 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, awards, events and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/page/84753746_joseph_h%20bennett/details/
http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/search.php?searchString=Bennett&Submit=Se...
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8805747
https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd...

Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 09:40:07 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, role, awards, events and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/page/84753746_joseph_h%20bennett/details/
http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/search.php?searchString=Bennett&Submit=Se...

Date Contributor Update
17 August 2016 16:07:36 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
- www.56thfightergroup.co.uk/personnel.htm

Date Contributor Update
03 August 2016 11:36:38 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit History;
- 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.;
- Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.;
-

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2015 21:41:38 Al_Skiff Changes to service number and highest rank
Sources

http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3506
http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_be...

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2015 18:02:48 Al_Skiff Changes to events and media associations
Sources

http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3506
http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_be...

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2015 17:48:04 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, nickname, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_be...
http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3506

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:18 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 5720 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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