Last Known Activity
John B. Price, according to sources, was born in Berwick, Iowa on June 7, 1920 to Benjamin and Minnie B. Price. The US census 1940 shows John residing in Louisville, Colorado. He was supposedly a miner.
He was inducted into the military service August 11, 1942, according to his Headstone application card. He was trained as an aerial gunner, and assigned to the combat crew headed by Lt Barnes in November, 1943
He flew a total of 46 missions as listed in 303rd Bomb Group records, the first on December 11, 1943. He flew all these missions with the Barnes crew as waist gunner. On February 16, 1945, the target area was the synthetic oil plant located at Langendreer, Germany. TSgt Price was a substitute for this mission, replacing the regular bombardier. It has not been learned why a waist gunner would qualify as a togglier, but the records state this to be the case.
Another anomaly in 303rd Bomb Group records is that Personnel records list him with the rank of PFC, while all other sources state Technical Sergeant.
As the aircraft approached the IP on the bomb run, it was hit by flak, which was reported as intense and accurate. The #1 engine was blown from the wing, dropped back and struck the fuselage in the area of the waist window, tearing a large hole in the plane.
Under apparent control,the aircraft lagged behind the formation and eventually crashed near Kleive, Germany. Sgts Price, Warne, and Bennett were killed. Evidently, Price's body was recovered after the war as the Headstone Application card states it was completed on September 23, 1950. TSgt John B. Price today lies in the Berwick Cemetery in Berwick, Iowa.
Application for Headstone or Marker
TSgt John B. Price was a substitute for the regular bombardier on B-17G #4339081, unnamed, undecorated, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 12439 was issued for this event, and mission logs show the crew as:
1 Lt Robert M. Wertz p
2 Lt Melvin A. Durst c-p
2 Lt Karl Minnis nav
TSgt John B. Price tog
TSgt Ralph W. Warne eng/tt gun
TSgt Edward J. Giering r/o
SSgt Kenneth E. Jensen btg
SSgt Walter C. Campbell wg
Sgt Kenneth A. Bennett tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Price, Warne, and Bennett were killed in action.
In the crew photo of the Barnes crew, Price is in the front row, 3rd from left.
Service photo source: