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Louis Aldo Dentoni Jr

Military

August 17, 1943 - Hospitalized in Africa. #42-30187 'Lulu Belle' B-17 piloted by Preston Piper was hit by flak and shot. Dentoni and navigator Lt. Paul Schultz manned waist guns as tail gunner had been injured.

On 9 October 1943, Dentoni serving as the bombardier in the 385th Bomb Group's lead aircraft plotted a perfect course over the aircraft assembly plant at Marienburg, ensuring effective bombing of the target. The Group's performance, thanks to Dentoni's actions, was described by General Arnold as the 'most perfect exhibition of precision bombing.'

On 14 January 1944, Dentoni guided the group on another effective run over Belmesnil.

On 6 March 1944 Dentoni was killed in action, while was serving aboard B-17F 42-3491 'Chopstick-G George', the lead pathfinder aircraft for the 3rd Bomb Division during the mission, which was assigned to the 482nd Bomb Group. The aircraft was hit by flak just after Dentoni had given the order for 'bombs away' over the target: Klein Machnow, Berlin, and one of the engines caught light. The aircraft fell out of formation before exploding in mid-air. Eyewitnesses reported 5 or 6 parachutes were seen, but only 3 members of the crew survived.

Service

People

  • John Crotty

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 482nd Bomb Group
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F #42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Killed in Action (KIA). 2 DFC's, Air Medal w 3/Oak Leaf Cluster; ETO Ribbon+3 stars

  • Francis Foote

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 482nd Bomb Group
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F 42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Killed in Action.

  • Edward Friesorger

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 482nd Bomb Group
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F #42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Steve Keaton

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 482nd Bomb Group
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F #42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Kenneth Klotz

    Military | Captain | Navigator, Radio Navigator | 482nd Bomb Group
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F #42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Thomas Kon

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F #42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Vincent Masters

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    1st Pilot to Lead Pilot to Squadron Operations Officer. Completed required 28 missions. ...

  • John Morgan

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 482nd Bomb Group
    John Morgan served as a co-pilot with the 482nd Bomb Group. On 26 July 1943, he flew damaged B-17 #42-29802 back to base after pilot was seriously injured and aircraft was badly damaged. For over 2 hours he flew it one handed because he had to hold the...

  • Alfred Rabo

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Squadron Commander, Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Rabo is best known for nicknaming H2X radar 'Mickey Mouse' ...

  • Walter Regoli

    Military | First Lieutenant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down by heavy flak just prior to the target of Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944 in B-17F #42-3491 'Chopstick-G George'. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

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Units served with

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 551st Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30187 Lulu Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Gore 6/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-K] Gt Ashfield 16/6/43; Missing in Action Evreux 24/8/43 with Maj Preston Piper, Co-pilot: Vince Masters, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Luther...

  • 42-3491 Chopstick-G George

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 11/7/43; Grenier 18/8/43; Assigned 812BS/482BG [MI-G] Alconbury 20/8/43 (H2-X); Missing in Action Berlin 6/3/44 with Maj Fred Rabo, Co-pilot: John Morgan, Ball turret gunner: Bill Westcott, Waist gunner: Steve Keaton (4 Prisoner of War...

  • 42-39952

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 15/10/43; Gr Island 31/10/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG Gt Ashfield 27/11/43; Missing in Action Wilhelmshafen 3/2/44 with Bob Morse, Co-pilot: Van Watson, Navigator: Bruce DeMar, Bombardier: Paul Kite, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 84

    17 August 1943
    The mission flown on 17-Aug-43, the 1st anniversary of the 1st mission flown by the 8th Air Force, is probably the most written about mission of the war. This is the famous Schweinfurt/Regensburg mission on which 60 B-17s are lost. It has been dubbed ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 113

    9 October 1943
    This mission is composed of 6 elements. The first element is a combined force of 115 B-17s from: 303BG (20); 379BG (20); 384BG (21); 351BG (21); 91BG 16; and 381BG (16) dispatched to bomb the industrial areas of Anklam, Germany. 106 aircraft are...

  • 8th Air Force 183

    14 January 1944
    This mission is a combined effort of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions to attack V-Weapon sites near the French coast near Pas-de-Calaise. Some targets of opportunity were also bombed. A total of 20 out of 21 V-Weapon sites are hit with varying results. ...

  • 8th Air Force 250

    6 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Berlin and Genshagen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. A combined force of 730 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The despatch from 3rd Air Division bombs Targets of Opportunity in...

Associated Place

  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

Events

Event Location Date
Born San Francisco 1919
Enlisted San Francisco 27 October 1941
Missing in Action Berlin, Germany 6 March 1944
Remains recovered by Germany authorities Reserve Hospital 101, Olympsches Dorf, Berlin-Dobertiz 6 March 1944

Germany authorities were unable to identify his remains

Buried Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial 1945

Temporary burial by American authorities, before repatriation to USA

Officially declared dead 7 August 1945
Buried California

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2020 08:26:17 Emily Changes to events
Sources

Bishop & Hey, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2020 13:22:21 Emily Changes to service number, role, biography, events, person associations, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations to 482nd Bomb Group and composite squadrons. As per the MACR Dentoni was one of three members of the 385th Bomb Group (the leading group of the mission on 6 March 1944) aboard 42-3491, who had been enlisted to augment the pathfinder crew assigned to the 482nd Bomb Group.

Enlistment Record

Missing Air Crew Report

385th Bomb Group Unit history, c 1945.

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2020 11:21:58 Emily Changes to middlename, suffix, highest rank, biography and events
Sources

385th Bomb Group unit history, c 1945, p 32, p 35 and p 40.

Obituary in the San Francisco Examiner, 26 August 1945, via newspapers.com

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2020 22:56:58 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "#" to the A/C serial # in the "Summary biography" for clarity.

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2020 21:10:08 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Corrected a typo in the "Summary biography".

Date Contributor Update
17 February 2016 13:52:56 general ira snapsorter Changes to middlename, service number, biography, events, unit associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia;
- MACR 3362 ;
- Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces ;
- Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database.

Additional details from:
- MACR 3362 at https://www.fold3.com/image/28633146
- http://www.385thbga.com/database/

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2015 07:58:02 Jenny Changes to biography, aircraft associations and media associations
Sources

Corrected spelling

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:19:05 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / The History of the 385th BG pp. 52-54, picture p. 155, Combat Chronology Supplement p. 533

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