Bender, Leo R., SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 394th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Bender, Leo R., SSgt.

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
Utica, NY
Last Address
Guiuaun Air Strip, Samar Island, P.I.

Casualty Date
Apr 30, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aerial Gunnery School5th Bombardment Group, Heavy394th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, Aerial Gunnery School
  1943-1944, 5th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, 394th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  
  1944-1945, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Leo R. Bender was born on January 7, 1923, supposedly in Utica, New York.

He entered the military service on September 16, 1943. After basic training, he was assigned to Aerial Gunnery School and was qualified as an aerial gunner. He was then given combat crew training on the B-24 aircraft.

By 1944, he was assigned to the 394th Bomb Squadron of the 5th Bomb Group flying from bases in New Guinea and the Philippines. On April 30, 1945, he was a crew member on a B-24 piloted by 1 Lt Benjamin R. Whiteker. They took off from Samar Island in the Philippines and bombed Japanese targets. On the return home, the aircraft collided with another B-24 in the formation. Both aircraft crashed, with no survivors.

Only 2 bodies were recovered, with 1 being identified. SSgt Bender is memorialized on The Tablets of the Missing at Manila's American Cemetery in the Philippines.


The complete crew listing, along with events of this lost aircraft are listed in detail on the Remembrance profile of 1 Lt Benjamin R. Whiteker, and will not be repeated here.

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