Last Known Activity
Elden L. Kimmel was born on November 12, 1919 in Danforth, Illinois. His parents were Walter B. and Clara Margaritha "Maggie" Kimmel. While the US Censuses 1920 and 1930 show the family living in Danforth, the US Census 1940 has them in Gilman. He graduated from Gilman High School.
Kimmel enlisted on November 7, 1941 (a newspaper article states November 11) at Chanute Field as a private. His enlistment papers state he had completed 4 years of high school, and was working in an unskilled position within the transportation area.
He received training as an aerial gunner, was promoted to Sergeant, and assigned to a combat crew in England. He flew missions over Europe with this crew.
When the 32nd Bomb Squadron transferred part of its aircraft to North Africa in October, 1942, Kimmel and crew were selected. He began flying missions over North Africa in November, 1942. On January 7, 1943, the aircraft left the air field at Biskra, but crashed a few minutes later, killing all personnel.
The bodies were evidently recovered as Sgt Kimmel now lies in the Danforth Cemetery in Danforth, Illinois.
NAR Enlistment Records
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Application for Headstone or Marker
Sgt Elden L. Kimmel was the assigned tail gunner on B-17F #41-24350, named "Dumbo," assigned to the 32nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16242 was issued to cover this loss. Mission loading lists show the 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
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Kimmel's name is listed as "Eldon" on the MACR and loading lists, but all other documents ( and gravestone) states "Elden,"
The three passengers were all aircraft mechanics - crew chiefs. Their presence on board is not explained.