Last Known Activity
Frank Kahl was born on January 3, 1920, a son of Emory and Elizabeth M. Kahl. The US Census 1930 shows the family residing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Kahl enlisted as a private in the Army Air Forces on January 13, 1942, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His NARA enlistment form states he had completed 4 years of high school, but gives no employment.
He was trained as an aerial gunner. After completing the course, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the B-17 combat crew led by Lt Sloulin in England in 1942. He flew several missions over Europe, mainly France. In 1942, when the 32nd Bomb Squadron sent some aircraft and crews to North Africa, Kahl was among those selected.
He flew missions over North Africa, normally Tunisia. On January 7, 1943, the aircraft took off from the airfield at Biskra, but crashed shortly afterward, killing all personnel on board. Sgt Kahl was recovered and his body sent to the U.S. He was buried in the Conestoga Memorial Park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he lies in Section K. Plot 563, Grave 5.
US Census 1930
NARA Enlistment Records
Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-2012
Application for Headstone or Marker
Sgt Frank Kahl was an assigned gunner on B-17F #41-24350, named "Dumbo," assigned to the 32nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16242 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists show personnel on board as:
1 Lt Wesley C. Sloulin p
2 Lt Robert D. Olson c-p
1 Lt Vincent C. Fratalli nav
1 Lt William R. Crandall bomb
SSgt Frederick J. Hull eng/tt gun
SSgt William M. Most, Jr. r/o
Sgt Frank Kahl wg
Sgt Leslie Clark gunner
Sgt Eldon L. Kimmel tail gun
MSgt William White pass
MSgt Linus C. Leonhard pass
MSgt Ted A. Greenway pass
Grades and ranks as of mission date.
The three passengers (White, Leonhard, and Greenway) were all aircraft mechanics - crew chiefs. Their presence on the flight is not explained.
Service photo source: