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Bernard Alexander Kellenyi


After enlisting in the Army Air Corps in March 1943 and earning his degree in Architecture from Catholic University he was accepted at Flight School. Flight training was completed at bases in Florida, Ohio and Arkansas. He received orders to pilot a B-17 across the Atlantic and report for combat duty in England. Before he left, he married his high school sweetheart, Margie Bingham, in Savannah, Georgia. His co-pilot Franklin Zerbe was best man. Bernie was part of the 388th Bomb Group/560th Bomb Squadron of the 8th Air Force that flew out of Knettishall, England. Ultimately he flew 35 combat missions, the last on Christmas Eve, 1944. Bernie received the Air Medal and 4 Oak Leaf Clusters (representative of 5 Air Medals) for various “tough” missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the War, Bernie returned to NJ where he bought a home in Red Bank and raised three children. By 1948 he became sole proprietor of his own Architectural practice and over time earned several distinctions including President of the NJ State Board of Architects and induction into the College of Fellows of The Architects Institute of America. Bernie is greatly admired and sorely missed by his children, children-in-law, and grandchildren.



  • Harry McKenna

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    Must have been one of only a handful of 8th AF bomber crew who flew missions in 1943,1944 and 1945. Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel after serving in WW2, Korea and Vietnam

  • Franklin Zerbe

    Military | Colonel | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Franklin Zerbe was a Co-Pilot in the 388th Bomb Group/560th Bomb Squadron. He is in the front row, second from left on UPL 17149. He ended his miltary career in the Air Force with the rank of Colonel.

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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


  • 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....


  • 471

    13 July 1944

  • 472

    14 July 1944

  • 476

    16 July 1944

  • 481

    18 July 1944
    Flew an easy one over Denmark to Germany. Only had one hours sleep between yesterday and today.

  • 8th Air Force 482

    19 July 1944
    Schweinfurt, Germany ball bearing plant was the target. Hit by flak and fell behind formation at 8:45 am above Aachen, Germany and crashed at Haren, Belgium at 10:06 am in the air district.

  • 492

    24 July 1944
    Bombed enemy troop concentrations and thus assisted the Allied breakthrough at St. Lo. About 1500 planes of US went to St. Lo in Cherbourg. We came back with our bombs. Couldn't find the target.

  • 494

    25 July 1944

  • 503

    29 July 1944

  • 507

    31 July 1944
    Flak knocked out #2 engine, the interphone system, the VHF plus other damages. We got back to the base before the formation.

  • 508

    1 August 1944

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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 Atlantic City, NJ, USA 23 July 1919
Enlisted Nashville, Tennessee 5 March 1943

Nashville AC Facilities, TN

Based Knettishall July 1944 – 11 January 1945
Died Shrewsbury, NJ, USA 24 February 2013
Buried Mount Olivet Cemetery, Middletown, NJ, USA 1 March 2013

at Mount Olivert Cemetery, Middletown, New Jersey, following a funeral mass with military honours at St. James Catholic Church in Middletown.


Date Contributor Update
31 May 2020 07:41:48 ED-BB Changes to biography

Added Squadron in Biography and completed best man Zerbe's first name

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2020 12:44:43 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, events and person associations

NARA WWII Enlistment records
WWII Draft card

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 23:22:30 CKellenyi Changes to mission associations

Family documents

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 22:11:53 CKellenyi Changes to events

Family documents

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 22:01:46 CKellenyi Changes to biography

Family documents

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 19:43:48 CKellenyi Changes to nickname, service number, highest rank, awards, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Family held records including flight records, news paper clippings, and DFC citations.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:28 AAM AAM ingest

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