Bissonnette, Keith F., 1st Lt

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1055-Pilot, Single-Engine Fighter
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 88th Fighter Squadron
Service Years
1943 - 1945
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
North Dakota
North Dakota
Year of Birth
1920
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Bissonnette, Keith F., 1st Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Enderlin, ND
Last Address
Myitkyina, Burma

Casualty Date
Mar 28, 1945
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Burma
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

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World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

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 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight SchoolUnited States Army Air Forces (USAAF)80th Fighter Group88th Fighter Squadron
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 188, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 770, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1945, 80th Fighter Group
  1944-1945, 88th Fighter Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1945 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
 My Aircraft/Missiles
BT-15 Valiant  PT-19 Trainer  P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)  
  1943-1943, BT-15 Valiant
  1943-1943, PT-19 Trainer
  1944-1945, P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Keith F. Bissonnette was born in Enderlin, North Dakota on November 7, 1920. His father, Jesse, moved the family to St. Paul, Minnesota when Keith was very young. Keith attended Cretin High School, a private Catholic high school, and was an athlete, playing soccer, baseball, basketball, and hockey.

When he graduated in 1939, he signed with the St. Paul Saints baseball team, and began a life of baseball in the minor leagues. He played Class D in Florida; Class C in the Canadian-American League; and then moved to the South Atlantic League (SALLY) where he was playing when drafted at the end of the season in 1942.

Keith entered the Air Cadet program in February 1943. He was graduated and commissioned in late 1943, and was further assigned to pilot training in the P-47 aircraft. In April, 1944, he was assigned to the 88th Fighter Squadron of the 80th Fighter Group, at that time operating in Burma. He flew a total of 200 combat missions here.

On March 28, 1945, Bissonnette took-off on a mission against Japanese troop concentrations and supply depots. He never returned from the mission, and the presumptive finding was Killed in Action due to aircraft crash.

His body was never recovered, but he is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing in Manila American Cemetery. There is a gravestone that appears to be a headstone in the Calvary Cemetery in Saint Paul, Minnesota, bit www.abmc.gov still lists "no burial - Walls of Missing."

  

Comments/Citation
While assigned to the 88th Fighter Squadron, Bissonnette flew P-47D #42-27542, no name. Nose art consisted of a large death's head on the cowling, and the squadron motto, "Burma Banshees."

Strangely, there is no Missing Air Crew Report for this incident; however, there is an aircraft accident report that states the pilot was KCR (killed in crash.)

   
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