Bennett, Kenneth A., Sgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Bennett, Kenneth A., Sgt.

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
Iowa City
Last Address
437th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Feb 16, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Fort Snelling National Cemetery - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section C-7, Site 8718

 Official Badges 

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 611, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Kenneth A. Bennett was born in Iowa on July 19, 1924. He was a son of Andrew William and Minnie E. Sidewell Bennett. Both the US Censuses 1930 and 1940 show the family in Iowa City, Iowa.

The date Bennett enlisted in the military has not been located, but judging from his age, assignments, and census reports, late 1943 or early 1944 would probably be accurate. He was trained as an aerial gunner, and deployed to England in October, 1944 where he was assigned as an original member of the combat crew led by Lt Wertz.

He flew 20 missions, presumably all with this crew, the first being on December 9, 1944.

On February 16, 1945, the target was designated as the synthetic oil plant at Langerdreer, Germany. In spite of intense and accurate flak, the formation bombed the secondary target. On the bomb run, the Wertz aircraft was struck by a flak burst, directly on #1 engine. The engine fell off the wing, dropped back and impacted the fuselage at the waist window, tearing a large gap in the fuselage.

The aircraft dropped out of formation, and was lagging behind, but seemingly, under control. Later, it crashed in the vicinity of Klieve, Germany. Three crew members were killed in the crash; the rest survived to become POWs.

The body of Kenneth Bennett was recovered after the war and returned to the U.S. for burial. He was buried in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery at Minneapolis, Minnesota at Section C-7, Site 8717 on November 20, 1950.

On September 2, 1998, in a special ceremony, he was awarded posthumously the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross. crews
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Interment Control Records, National Cemeteries


Sgt Kenneth A. Bennett was the assigned tail gunner on B-17G #43-39081, unnamed, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 12437 was issued for this incident, and mission loading lists show the crew for this mission was:

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 the crew members killed.

In the crew photo, Sgt Bennett is in the back row, 3rd from left.

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