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Theodore J Don

Military

Theodore Don was Bombardier on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Theodore was among the 5 who were rescued by Royal Navy torpedo boats and returned to duty. MACR 778. Later, completed 25 missions with the Donald H. Moede crew, flying many of those in 'Laden Maiden'. Returned to CONOS (Air Conos Technical School, Chanute Field, Illinois) in 1944 and was instructor at Bombardier school in California. Awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross); Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 bronze star.

Service

People

  • Bruce Alshouse

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Completed 25 missions from 23 September 1943 - 6 March 1944. Shot down 24 September 1943 in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and attacked by enemy fighters, the Fortress was riddled and...

  • James Dalton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    James Dalton was Navigator on board B-17 #42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. James was picked up by a Royal Navy torpedo motor boat, but...

  • Francis De Cooman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Francis De Cooman was Ball Turret Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. He was among the 5 men killed, 5 others were...

  • Arthur Gibbons

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator

  • Michael Gillen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator
    Michael Gillen was Radio Operator on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Michael was among the 5 men...

  • John Gossage

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot / Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 September 1943 on a practice flight in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II'. Plane ditched in the North Sea. 5 Killed In Action; 5 rescued, Gossage among them - Missing Air Crew Report MACR 778. On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B...

  • William Grier

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    William Grier was Co-Pilot on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. William was among the 5 men killed, 5 were...

  • William Humphrey

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner
    William Humphrey was Top Turret Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. William was among the 5...

  • Clyde Lovell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner
    Clyde Lovell was Left Waist Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. Clyde was among the 5 men killed, 5...

  • Ralph Schulte

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Ralph Schulte enlisted in September 1942 and began an intensive course of study in aviation mechanics at the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command, Amarillo Army Air Field, Texas. He got his wings at Fort Myers, Florida in 1943 and was sent...

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Units served with

Aircraft

  • 42-30259 DAMIFINO II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/4/43; Kearney 27/5/43; Dow Fd 7/6/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-N] Thorpe Abbotts 10/6/43. Was flying on a practice flight 24 September 1943 to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and shot down by enemy...

  • 42-5861 'LADEN MAIDEN'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 30/3/43; Kearney 15/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Fd 6/6/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-J] Thorper Abbotts 8/6/43 STUD DUCK; renamed before crash landed base with Owen Roane (10 Returned to Duty) u/c collapsed 2/8/43;...

Missions

  • VIII Air Support Command 70

    24 September 1943
    The German airfield of Beauvais/Tille, France is the target fro a combined force of 72 B-26s freom 323BG (36) and 322BG (36). 66 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses, but 14 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-0 of...

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

  • Big Spring Army Air Field

    Military site : airfield

  • Chanute Field

    Military site : airfield
    Chanute Field was established in 1917 as a training ground for pilots. After a brief closure at the end of the First World War, the airfield was designated a technical school and provided training for ground personnel during the Second World War. ...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Tucson, Arizona USA 30 September 1917
Lived in Brookline, Massachusetts USA 1935

Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Enlisted 3 January 1941

Boston, Massachusetts

Rescued in the North Sea 24 September 1943

by a Royal Navy torpedo boat after ditching of B-17 42-30259
and returned to duty

Buried 2003

Theodore Don rests at the Gardens at Gethsemane Cemetery, West Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Died 2 December 2003

Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2020 19:01:02 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
04 May 2019 19:27:09 lowbuckbob Changes to events
Sources

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
02 May 2019 14:24:42 lowbuckbob Changes to media associations
Sources

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
02 May 2019 14:17:23 lowbuckbob Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2019 19:58:55 lowbuckbob Changes to awards
Sources

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2019 17:54:45 lowbuckbob Changes to nickname and events
Sources

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2019 20:18:16 lowbuckbob Changes to highest rank and events
Sources

Personal records

Date Contributor Update
24 April 2019 14:08:42 ED-BB Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 778
NARA WWII Enlistment records
VA Gravesite Locator

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:42 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

100th Bomb Group Foundation Directory, 2000 - 2001; MACR 778 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 778 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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