Bonnassiolle, John P., Sgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1944, 392nd Bombardment Group, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Bonnassiolle, John P., Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Wendling Air Station, England

Casualty Date
Apr 29, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
San Francisco National Cemetery - San Francisco, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aerial Gunnery SchoolUS Air Force392nd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, Aerial Gunnery School
  1943-1944, 578th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, 392nd Bombardment Group, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  
  1943-1944, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity

According to available records, John P. Bonnassiolle was born in Oakland, California in 1923. He completed 4 years of high school, and later worked as a tinsmth and in sheet metal repair. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on October 19, 1942. After basic training, he was assigned to the Aerial Gunnery School where he became proficient in aerial gunnery.

He was assigned to the 578th Bomb Squadron of the 392nd Bomb Group, based at Wendling, England. He was assigned as ball turret gunner on the crew headed by 2nd Lieutenant Robert R. Bishop.

On April 29, 1944, a massive raid of 751 bombers was scheduled against the Friedrichstrasse Railroad Station in Berlin. This station was a key part of the underground and elevated train system that crossed Berlin and connected the city to the other parts of Germany. Lt. Bishop's crew was one of the many scheduled crews that would take part.

Winds, weather, and clouds partially separated the bomber stream before the target was reached. This meant that part of the aircraft - the 392nd Bomb Group's B-24s - had no fighter escort. Approximately 350 enemy aircraft attacked the formation as it made the bomb run. Many of these aircraft performed double sorties in that they attacked, landed for rearming and refueling, and attacked again.

Lt. Bishop's B-24 was seen falling away from the formation with the elevator assembly badly shot up, according to reports. The aircraft eventually crashed near the town of East Mietze, north of Hannover, Germany. German witnesses on the ground stated all airmen died in the crash. Approximately one hour after the crash, a bomb exploded, sending debris throughout the small town.

German troops later recovered three bodies from the wreckage, and buried them in a small cemetery in Hannover. In 1946, the Graves Registration Accounting for POW/MIA team found additional remains plus identification tags at the scene of the crash. These remains were buried at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium after confirmed the identity of two sets of remains.

In 2005 and 2007, teams found further evidence of American fliers. Testing with DNA confirmed Bonnassiolle's identity. His remains were returned to the family to be buried at San Francisco, California National Cemetery.

USAAF aircraft records
Stars and Stripes issue October2, 2005



The aircraft involved was B-24J #42-110105, piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert R. Bishop. 578th BS, 392ndBG. This mission was the 10th for this crew. MACR 4446 applies.

The entire crew consisted of:
   2nd Lt Robert R. Bishop        pilot
   2nd Lt  Arthur W. Luce          co-pilot
   2nd Lt  Thomas Digman        bombardier
   2nd Lt  Donald W. Hess         navigator
   SSgt Ralph H. McDonald    tail gunner
   SSgt John J. Karaso            radio operator
   Sgt James T. Blong     engineer/top turret gunner
   Sgt John P. Bonnassiolle  ball turret gunner
   Sgt  John T. Harrington   right waist gunner
   Sgt  Michael A. Chiodo    left waist gunner

Although 392nd aircraft crew inventory and mission history records show this to be the crew of April 29, 1944, other records indicate that SSgt Orus Baxter, another gunner, was aboard and one of the named gunners did not fly the mission. Graves Registration lists Baxter as one identified at the crash site, however 392nd BG records state he was relieved before the mission, and Blong replaced him.

Sgt Bonnassiolle's remains were positively identified by DNA testing on June 14, 2010. Mitochondrial DNA was matched with a surviving sister.

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