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Bernard Elmer Leimbach

Military

First Lieutenant Bernard "Bernie" Elmer Leimbach flew on the mission to Ploesti, Romania, and served as the replacement Navigator on the B-24D Liberator bomber, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs', SN #42-40364 Y. He was Killed in Action (KIA) on the Ploesti Raid when his B-24D was shot down by German fighter planes near the Bulgarian/Yugoslavian border close to where the B-24D, 'The Witch', made a forced landing after also having been shot up by fighters in the same area. August 1, 1943.

Service

People

  • James Gunn

    Military | Captain | B-24 Command Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    ~ Capt. James A. Gunn, Jr, was Killed In Action (KIA) on the bombing mission over the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, in his B-24D, 42-40364. 1 Aug, 43. ...

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Units served with

  • 9th Air Force
  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942. ...

  • 343rd Bomb Squadron

    343rd Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron and trained by Third Air Force. Deployed to Egypt in June 1942 over South Atlantic Transport Route transiting from Morrison Field, Florida though the Caribbean to Brazil; performed trans-Atlantic...

Aircraft

  • 42-40364 The Pink Elephant - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    B-24 Liberator
    The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, was in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, who called themselves, "The Pyramiders", and the 343rd Bomb Squadron. First named, The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, was the second B-24D, that was later renamed, "Snow White and...

  • 41-11840 The Witch

    B-24 Liberator
    The aircraft, 41-11840, named, The Witch, was in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 343rd Bomb Squadron left. It deployed for duty in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in July, 1942. It's pilot, Lt. Glade Jorgenson, played a...

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

Associated Place

  • Benina

    Military site : airfield

  • Lete

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Milwaukee, Wisconsin 16 October 1921

There is one document from the family that states he was born in 1922, but the government states he was born in 1921, so seeking accuracy on birth date.

Enlisted 28 January 1942

Enlisted as Aviation Cadet in Cleveland, Ohio.

Died Macedonia (FYROM) 1 August 1943
Buried Arlington National Cemetery 12 July 1949

Grave 107, Section 15

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 August 2021 04:58:14 Kickapoo Changes to nickname
Sources

Letters, capitals, punctuation for clarity and accuracy. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
01 April 2021 08:32:15 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - #42-40364

Date Contributor Update
01 April 2021 08:21:40 Kickapoo Changes to nickname and unit associations
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - #42-40364

Date Contributor Update
19 September 2020 15:21:18 decwriter Changes to middlename and events
Sources

Official records list middle name.

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2020 17:16:19 decwriter Changes to person associations
Sources

Capt James A. Gunn, Jr. was aircraft commander of B-24 #42-40364 Y during the 1 August 1943 Ploesti mission.

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2020 17:04:11 decwriter Changes to events
Sources

NARA file verified entry date and place of enlistment. Personal records verified birth date.

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2020 01:27:40 decwriter Changes to place associations
Sources

Flew missions from Benina Main LG 159 and Lete.

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2020 01:23:54 decwriter Changes to biography and awards
Sources

Lt Leimbach flew from 23 Feb 1943 to 1 August 1943 in the EAME Campaign under Air Combat and Sicily Campaigns.

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2020 14:26:08 decwriter Changes to service number
Sources

NARA file verified ASN upon entry into service.

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2019 22:11:06 decwriter Changes to mission associations
Sources

Updated mission connection.

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2019 14:32:55 decwriter Changes to events
Sources

Updated biography information.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2018 02:04:59 decwriter Changes to nickname
Sources

His nickname was Bernie according to the letters from his mother.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2018 02:02:57 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

Lt. Leimbach received these awards as a result of his service from 26 September 1942 until his death on 1 Aug 1943.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2018 12:03:46 Lucy May Changes to service number, biography, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Re-checked MACR 165: https://www.fold3.com/image/1/29417957
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/49246458/bernard-e-leimbach

Correspondence with Randolph J Wells CMSgt USAF
"Is there any way the data could be changed on the American Air Museum in Britain to reflect the Capt. James A. Gunn, Jr. crew was only part of the 98th Bomb Group? I have specific movement orders which has this crew traveling from the US to Benina Main, Libya (now Benina International Airport) to solely serve with the 98th BG. They were never in England, hence couldn't be detached from the 389th BG. I have a ton of documents from Bernard E. Leimbach's family and he was the Navigator on Capt Gunn's crew."

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:29 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 165

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