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Bliss David Purinton

Military

1-May-42 Assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Gowen Field, Bosie, Idaho. 12-Oct-42 Re-assigend to B-17F 41-24569 [GN-V], "Memphis Tot" 303BG/427BS at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine. 22-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Memphis Tot"

Shot down 4 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. The mission target was Osnabruck, Germany, but crew reported guns didn't work so crew turned back. Fighters attacked and Cpt Cole crash landed in the Waddenzee, Holland. Plane broke in two in contact with the water. Surviving crew were pulled from the water by the enemy and became Prisoner of War (POW)s. He was placed in Stalag 17B.

NOTE: NARA puts a 'g' in the name before the 't'. However, 303rd Bomb Group personnel database has it as Purinton, historian, Gary Moncur. Also MACR 15348 has the same spelling. In this case, it is the NARA WWII POW database that is in error.

Participated in 7 Operations (2 were aborted) See Biography events.
POW

Service

People

  • Lloyd Cole

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-May-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 22-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Pilot of 41-24569 [GN-V] "Memphis Tot" 303BG/427BS. ...

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Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 427th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24569 Memphis Tot

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot: [GN:V] was assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-W] Bangor 5-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 25

    12 December 1942
    This mission is composed of two elements. First element: The German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a force of 78 B-17s despatched from 91BG (19), 303BG (20), 305BG (21) and 306BG (18). However, the target is...

  • VIII Bomber Command 29

    13 January 1943
    The primary target for this mission is the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works, associated steel works and the railroad marshalling yards at Lille, France. The attacking force is composed of 72 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 303BG (19); 305BG (23) and 306BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 32

    2 February 1943
    All six 8th Air Force Bomb Groups operting from Great Britain are ordered on a mission to bomb the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. 61 B-17s and 22 B-24s are despatched but the formation runs into severe weather over the North Sea and the mission in...

  • VIII Bomber Command 33

    4 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are again designated as the primary target for this mission follwing the abortive attempt of 2-Feb-43. However, weather and extreme cold frustrate this operation also. The main attacking force consists of 65 B-17s...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Alliance, Nebraska, USA 20 June 1920
Assigned to Aircraft Boise, ID, USA 1 May 1942

Assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17 41-24619 "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

Re-assigned to Aircraft Bangor, ME, USA 12 October 1942

Re-assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 22 October 1942

Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner aboard B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS.

Mission #1, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Lorient, France 22 November 1942

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #2, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Lille, France 6 December 1942

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the carriage and wagon works at Lille, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #3, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS Rouen, France 12 December 1942

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen, France. RTB OK.

Mission #4, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS Lille, France 13 January 1943

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the Lille Fives Locomotive Works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Mission #5, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #6, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Hamm, Germany 2 February 1943

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. Severe weather force Wing Command to recall the formation. RTB OK.

Mission #7, SSGT Bliss D. Purinton, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - POW Osnabrück, Germany 4 February 1943

Served as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the industrial areas of Osnabruck, Germany. Frozen guns forced the pilot to turn back and the aircraf was attacked by fighters. The pilot mamanged to crashland the stricken aircraft on the edge of the Waddenzee, Holland. He was thrown into the sea but saved by Dutch fishermen who then turned him over to the Germans. POW

Prisoner of War (POW) Krems an der Donau, Austria 6 June 1945

Held at Stalag 17B, Braunau-Gneikendorf (near Krems), Austria. Last Report Date (Discharged in the US) 6-Jun-45.

Died Gilroy, California, USA 27 October 1995
Buried Gilroy, California, USA November 1995

Gavilan Hills Memorial Park

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 February 2020 22:17:05 jmoore43 Changes to middlename and events
Sources

Added middle name per MACR 15348.
Added Born, Died & Buried events per Find-a-grave Memorial ID 88910810.

Date Contributor Update
30 October 2019 20:13:46 jmoore43 Changes to person associations
Sources

Added a connection to Lloyd R. Cole, the pilot of A/C 41-24569.

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:48:01 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/014.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:42:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 2-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/013.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:39:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Dec-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:37:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Dec-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/010.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:34:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 12-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/006.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:32:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:29:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:25:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Arrived in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian; Lloyd R. Cole crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-cole.html

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:23:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Re-Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian; Lloyd R. Cole crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-cole.html

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:22:02 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Feb-2016. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian; Lloyd R. Cole crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-cole.html

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2016 23:19:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Feb-2016. Added initial assignment and re-assignment and arrival in UK infot to Summary Biography; Made connections to all missions per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian; Lloyd R. Cole crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-cole.html

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2015 19:13:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2015. Added decoration and POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; made connections to Place, AIrcraft and Mission within existing website data; Added crew position to Biography per 303rd Bomb Group website record, historian, Gary Moncur. Spelling of name as Purinton was confirmed from MACR 15348 and 303rd Bomb Group website personnel records.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:42 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15348 / MACR 15348, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop and Hey p. 73, NARA web site , 303rd web site mission report / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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