Last Known Activity
Linus G. Leonhard was born on June 22, 1917 in Minnesota to Trau F. and Marie Leonhard. (301st Bomb Group records have middle initial as "C." All other sources use "G.") The US Census 1930 shows the family living in Marshfield; the US Census 1940 has Leonhard as a soldier in Rantoul, Illinois.
Leonhard attended Sacred Heart Catholic School, and graduated from McKinney High School in 1935. He worked for almost 2 years for the A.. Weinbrenner Company. He then went to Los Angeles, California and studied diesel engineering for 1 year.
He enlisted in Riverside, California on October 24, 1939, and was sent to aircraft mechanics school (4th School Squadron) at Rantoul, Illinois. After completing the course, he was stationed in Alamagordo, New Mexico, and Geiger Filed, Washington where he was assigned to the 301st Bomb Group. He was sent overseas in July, 1942.
In England with the 301st Bomb Group, he was an aircraft mechanic - crew chief. He transferred to Algeria when the 32nd Bomb Squadron moved part of its aircraft to North Africa. On January 7, 1943, he was a passenger on a B-17 that crashed shortly after take-off, killing all personnel on board.
MSgt Leonhard was recovered and sent to the U.S. for private burial. Today, he lies in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Marshfield, Wisconsin in Plot CC9_5_7_5.
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune newspaper, January 26, 1941
Marshfield New Herald newspaper, January 26, pages 1 and 4
NARA Enlistment Records
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
MSgt Linus G. Leonhard was a passenger 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 the crew and personnel 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 Federick 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.
The three passengers (White, Leonhard, and Greenway) were all aircraft mechanics-crew chiefs. Their presence on board is not explained.
Service photo source:
Marshfield New Herald newspaper, January 26, 1941, pages 1 and 4