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Donald James De Cleene

Military

Killed when the B17 he was piloting crashed into Birchenough Hill near Wildboarclough in Cheshire. All five crew members on board died. The plane had been collected from Burtonwood and was destined for Nuthampstead. Don is buried in the American cemetery near Cambridge.

Air medal

Joined the 603rd on August 28th 1944 and was Co-Pilot to Kenneth S Hastings before becoming a pilot in his own right.

J. Gordon Blythe was his co-pilot on two missions at the end of December 1944. One to Blumenthal on the 31st. To Bischofsheim on the 30th.

Service

People

  • John Blythe

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
    35 missions Germany, France. 3 to big 'B'. Sept 1944 to Feb. 1945. Blythe - at the age of 71 - took a degree in history at Wesley College Delaware. He had previously worked as an interpreter and an elementary school teacher. AM

  • John Bourquin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio/Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Born to Charles and Amanda (Terry) Bourquin

  • Oliver Bradford

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Air medal

  • Kenneth Hastings

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group

  • Kenneth Hastings

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 11/21/44 in B-17 #448348

  • Thomas Manos

    Military | Flight Officer | Navigator | 398th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 603BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. Thomas died when the B-17 flying fortress he was on crashed on Birchenough Hill. Also on board were Donald J DeCleene, Maynard Stravinski, Frank E Garry Jr and Howard F Ayers. Killed in Service (KIS) Awards: PH.

  • Maynard Stravinski

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
    KIS Although he was the co-pilot on 43-38944, Maynard had been a pilot in his own right on several missions in December 1944. He played as a guard in American football for his school. Got a scholarship to learn to fly at Wyoming Air Field.

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Units served with

  • 398th Bomb Group

    398th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 398th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire on strategic bombing raids over Germany. The Group switched focus in the days before D-Day, when they targeted enemy positions on the Cherbourg peninsula. When the Allies...

  • 603rd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 43-38669

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 31/8/44; Hunter 3/9/44; Dow Fd 18/9/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-G] Nuthampstead 23/11/44; RAF Valley 2/6/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 7/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold...

  • 43-38944

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 23/10/44; Dow Fd 31/10/44; Assigned 748BS/457BG [L] Glatton 10/11/44; transferred 603BS/398BG detailed on ferry flight from Burtonwood to Nuthampstead using only five crewmen 2/1/45 with Don DeCleene, Co-pilot: Maynard Stravinski,...

Missions

  • 772

    31 December 1944

Associated Place

  • Nuthampstead

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Oak Park, Illinois 7 February 1921
Died Birchenough Hill near Wildboarclough Cheshire 2 January 1945

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 June 2021 14:37:15 Amanda Changes to media associations
Sources

University of Illinois

Date Contributor Update
06 June 2021 14:20:39 Amanda Changes to media associations
Sources

398th

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2020 20:27:46 Amanda Changes to place associations
Sources

Nuthampstead Air Museum

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2020 20:09:06 Amanda Changes to biography, awards and person associations
Sources

Nuthampstead Air Museum

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2020 19:51:28 Amanda Changes to person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Nuthampstead Air Museum

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2020 13:26:32 Amanda Changes to service number, biography, events and person associations
Sources

Nuthampstead Air Museum

Date Contributor Update
06 April 2020 09:51:54 Amanda Changes to biography
Sources

Nuthampstead air museum

Date Contributor Update
06 April 2020 09:44:59 Amanda Changes to surname, middlename and awards
Sources

Nuthampstead air museum

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:34 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Combat Chronology; 398th History Vol II / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

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