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Paul Chryst


Paul Chryst enlisted in the Air Corps in August 1942. After training and his commission as a 2nd Lt he was sent overseas and assigned to the 91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron as a Bombardier. He was promoted to 1st Lt and flew 35 combat missions between August and December 1944.
Lt. Colonel Paul Chryst (Ret.) wrote on 2 November 2002 in an e-mail posted at :
“We flew our first mission on 3 August 1944 and the last one on 15 Dec 44. I counted 38 missions total; but the Orderly Room said "only 35 completed". My Pilot Class was 43K; but the PT-17 Stearman (training plane) washed me out. Went on to Aerial Gunnery School and graduated to become the FIRST class of Cadets to wear Gunner's wings then on to Bombardier School. We graduated after 12 weeks bombing and another 6 weeks of DR Navigation. My biggest fear while flying was "bail-out" the small hatch next to the Navigator and being killed by hitting the leading edge of the left elevator. If I made it to the ground, my next worry was being killed by some German civilian. At 6'-2" I weighed 125 lbs. and never would have survived the small rations in POW Camp.”
Paul Chryst’s 30 August 2002 oral history interview in Tacoma, Washington at


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 401st Bomb Squadron


  • 42-102504 Times A-Wastin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/3/44; Gr Island 31/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-D] Bassingbourn 11/5/44. ...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...


Event Location Date
Born Hartford, CT 24 August 1920

Son of Sinodis and Helen [Gardner] Chryst.

Lived in Pottstown, PA 1942

Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Enlisted Reading, PA 11 August 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps, Reading, Pennsylvania

Based Bassingbourn 3 August 1944 – 15 December 1944

Flew on 35 missions as a Bombardier in the 401st Bomb Squadron/91st Bomb Group

Died Saratoga Center, Pottstown, PA 31 July 2014

at the Saratoga Center, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Buried Limerick Garden of Memories, Limerick, Montgomery County, PA August 2014

Rests at the Limerick Garden of Memories, Limerick, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA


Date Contributor Update
28 December 2020 20:39:26 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, awards, events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2019 13:59:56 ED-BB Changes to service number, role, biography, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

NARA WWII Enlistment records
WWII Draft Card
Posting at

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:04 AAM AAM ingest

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia