Books, Dallas O., 1st Lt

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1024-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 392nd Bombardment Group, Heavy
Service Years
1940 - 1944
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Books, Dallas O., 1st Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Eau Claire, WI
Last Address
Wendling Air Station, England

Casualty Date
Mar 18, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Lakeview Cemetery - Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight SchoolUnited States Army Air Forces (USAAF)579th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy392nd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1940-1941, M 0188, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1941-1943, M 0273, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, 579th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, 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
BT-13 Valiant  A-20 Havoc  B-25 Mitchell  B-17 Flying Fortress  
B-24 Liberator  
  1940-1940, BT-13 Valiant
  1941-1941, A-20 Havoc
  1941-1942, B-25 Mitchell
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
  1943-1944, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity

Dallas O. Books was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on February 3, 1919, the son of Mr and Mrs Oliver Books. He graduated from Eau Claire High School and briefly attended State Teachers College.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940 and entered aviation training. His flight training took him to Muskogee, Oklahoma and Randolph Field, Texas. He graduated and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, with pilot wings, in June, 1941 at Kelly Field, Texas.

Books was assigned to coastal patrol duty on the East Coast, but then was selected as an A-20 instructor. He attended B-25 school in South Carolina, and learned to fly a B-17 in Florida. He then underwent intensive training as a B-24 pilot at Clovis and Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was said of him that he could fly any aircraft in the Army Air Corps' inventory.

In December, 1943, he was assigned to England, and wound up at the 579th Bomb Squadron of the 392nd Bomb Group at Wendling Air Station. A crew was assembled, and on his first mission, he managed to crash-land his aircraft at the base after German fighters had shot the nose gear assembly off.

He and his crew went on to fly 6 more missions, in 5 different aircraft. The 579th acquired a new aircraft, and Books became the pilot. The next day, on the crew's 8th mission, the aircraft, now dubbed "Old Glory," flew its first mission.

The target was the Dornier Aircraft Assembly Plant at Friedrichshafen. Flak was extremely heavy over the target, and as the aircraft bombed, they were attacked by approximately 75 enemy fighters. Everyone was reduced to fighting for survival, so reports were sketchy at best. Book's aircraft was under attack by a pack of fighters when a round hit the oxygen tank that exploded and blew SSgt Strickler out of the aircraft. He was later taken POW. The Colonel in charge of the mission stated he saw Lt. Book's aircraft with a fire on the flight deck, at low altitude, but apparently under control, He also stated he saw 8 parachutes, a curious fact in light of other information.

The aircraft crashed near the village of Hardt, on the German-Swiss border. German accounts state that 9 bodies were recovered, with 3 so badly burned no identification was possible. The POW Strickler made 10, which accounted for the crew. The Germans buried the bodies in the cemetery at Locherhof on March 21, 1944. Later, Graves Registration moved all bodies to the American Military Cemetery at St. Alvord, France. No overseas cemetery has a record of a present internment, so all bodies were eventually returned to the U.S. Lt. Books is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The 392nd Bomb Group put up 22 aircraft for the raid, and lost 15 of them.


As stated, the B-24H #41-28742 "Old Glory" was a new aircraft on its first mission.

The entire crew consisted of:

1Lt Dallas O. Books   p
2Lt Harry E. Gray        c-p
Capt John E. Slowik  nav
SSgt Clifford T. Porter   bomb
SSgt Everette N. Morris    eng/ttg
TSgt George E. Slack      ro
SSgt Charles C. Strickler   lwg
SSgt Norman K. Willing     rwg
Sgt Robert G. Hampton    btg
SSgt Daniel C. James     tg

All were killed in action except SSgt Strickler who was taken POW. Missing Air Crew Report 3319 applies

Questions arise from the different accounts of this episode. SSgt Strickler was blown from the aircraft, and supposedly 8  chutes were later observed. The Germans state they found 9 bodies in the wreckage. It is entirely possible that the chutes in question were of another crew, as other bombers were shot down over target. There is a discrepancy between German reports of first burial; however, eyewitness accounts and Graves Registration have proven the accounts incorrect.

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