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Kenneth Owen Burkheimer


Kenneth Burkheimer was a Pilot in the 388th Bomb Group/560th Bomb Squadron. He was shot down twice. First on the 26 September 1944 mission to Bremen. Ditched his B-17# 42-31039 in the Channel off Calais, France. All the crew of ten was picked up by PT boat and returned to duty. No MACR. Had to crash-land B-17#43-37787 in Knokke, Belgium, on return from the Berlin mission 5 December 1944. All nine men on board returned to duty. No MACR.



  • Waymon Choate

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group

  • Andrew Denney

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Robert Green

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group

  • Delmont Harlow

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group

  • Walter Leonard

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group

  • Robert Meidell

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group

  • Thomas Moody

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 388th Bomb Group

  • Edward Szymanski

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group

Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 560th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-107062 Worry Bird/Miss Bea Haven

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Dow Fd 3/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25/4/44; no ops, transferred 562BS/388BG Knettishall 29/4/44 WORRY BIRD; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 29/11/45;...

  • 42-31039

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/9/43; Gr Island 19/10/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG [Q] Knettishall 25/10/43; Missing in Action Osnabruck 26/9/44 with Pilot Kenneth O. Burkheimer, Co-pilot: Andrew I. Denney Jr, Navigator: Delmont E. Harlow, Bombardier: Walter T....

  • 43-37787 Holy Smokes

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/5/44; Kearney 5/6/44; Grenier 17/6/44; Assigned 413BS/96BG Snetterton 19/6/44; transferred 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/6/44; battle damaged Berlin 5 December 1944 with Kenneth O. Burkheimer. Force-landed in Knokke, Belgium. 9 RTD....


  • 648

    26 September 1944

  • 738

    5 December 1944

Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...


Event Location Date
Born Sedalia, Missouri 12 April 1919
Lived in October 1940

Huntington Park, California

Lived in 1941

Los Angeles, California

Enlisted 26 December 1941

Los Angeles, California

Buried 2003

Kenneth Burkheimer rests at the Desert Lawn Cemetery in Calimesa, California

Died 8 January 2003


Date Contributor Update
29 May 2020 15:00:16 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

NARA WWII Enlistment records
WWII Draft Card
Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log (ditching of 42-31039)
Veterans Affairs BIRLS death File
VA Gravesite Locator

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:58 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /