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Milton Marion Stenstrom

Military

Milton Stenstrom enlisted in April 1941 and followed pilot training. Assigned to the 97th Bomb Group/414th Bomb Squadron, he was sent to England.
Shot down on 21 October 1942 in B-17 41-24443 while serving as Pilot on a mission to bomb U-Boat pens at Lorient/Keroman, France. The Fortress was hit by a Flak burst, lost altitude and was attacked by one or more enemy fighters. He probably received a head injury in the ditching of his damaged plane in the water off the coast of Brest, France, and remembered that someone pulled him out of the plane after they landed in the water. He recalled that after a French fishing boat picked them up and took them to port, they faced a seemingly high-ranked German officer who told him "For you... the war is kaput!". Prisoner of War (POW).

Service

People

  • William Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 97th Bomb Group
    Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Radio Operator, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Thomas Calhoun

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Left Waist Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Robert Carlberg

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 97th Bomb Group
    Robert Carlberg was assigned to the 97th Bomb Group/414th Bomb Squadron, and was sent to England. Shot down on 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Co-Pilot on a mission to bomb U-Boat pens at Lorient/Keroman, France. The Fortress was hit...

  • John Hughes

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Right Waist Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Roy Nalley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Note : the 1930 US Census has his family's name wrongly spelled as Nally... This was corrected in the 1940 one > Nalley... A Top Turret Gunner, Roy Nalley was shot down on 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • William Schimke

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Ball Turret Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Ewart Sconiers

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 97th Bomb Group
    Lt Ewart Sconiers was Bombardier on B-17 #41-9089 'Johnny Reb', one of the 12 B-17s participating in the first heavy bomber raid of the 8th Air Force on 17 August 1942. The target were the shipyards of Rouen/Sotteville, France. ...

  • James Simmons

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Tail Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW). After being held at Stalag Luft 1 (Barth, Germany), he was transferred to Stalag XIII (Hammelburg, Germany), where he was head of the escape committee.

  • Harold Spire

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 97th Bomb Group
    Note : In both the 1930 and 1940 Censuses, Harold and his parents are listed as Spires. All later documents, including his Enlistment records, his Escape & Evasion Report have him as Harold Spire... ...

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Units served with

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    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...

  • 414th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24443 Johnny Reb II, Johnny Reb Jr

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BS/92BG Bangor 1-August-1942; transferred to 414BS/97BG Polebrook 24-August-1942; Missing in Action 21-October-1942 on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient/Keroman, France. The Navigator, 1Lt Harold Spire provided the following...

Missions

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Nebraska, United States 20 January 1920

the son of Charles and Mae L. Stenstrom

Lived in Kenosha, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, United States 1940
Enlisted Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States 28 April 1941

in the Air Corps

Brest, France 21 October 1942

ditched in the Atlantic Ocean about 10 miles off the coast of Brest, France

captured Quimper, France 21 October 1942

after his rescue, together with 8 of his crew members, by a French fishing boat and arrested after landing by the Germans

Prisoner of War (POW) Sagan, Poland 21 October 1942 – May 1945

Interned at Stalag Luft 3. NARA POW Records : "Officially Returned to Military Control (RMC) 4 June 1945."

Buried El Toro Memorial Park, Lake Forest, Orange County, California, United States 2009
Died Laguna Woods, Orange County, California, United States 24 July 2009

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2017 14:01:52 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events and person associations
Sources

US Census 1940
NARA WWII Enlistment Records
NARA WWII POW Records
Recollections of Milton Stenstrom as told to his family

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2014 19:15:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Nov-2014. Edited summary biography and added POW event information. National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
28 October 2014 21:01:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Oct-2014. "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
18 October 2014 20:50:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Oct-2014, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey; "Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman; National Archives Records Administration (NARA) POW Records.

Date Contributor Update
18 October 2014 20:43:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number and biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Oct-2014, National Archives Records Administration (NARA) POW Records, "losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:18 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol 1, pp 38-39 by Bishop and Hey

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