Cummings, Duke D., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1054-Co-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 1054, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Cummings, Duke D., 1st Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Aransas Pass
Last Address
353rd Bomb Squadron
St. Donat, Algeria

Casualty Date
Apr 13, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Sicily-Rome, Italy
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight School301st Bombardment Group, Heavy  353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1941-1942, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 770, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1054, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1054, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 1054, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Egypt-Libya Campaign (1942-43)
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
According to documents located, Lt Duke D. Cummings was born in Port Aransas, Texas in 1921. His parents were Newton L. and Elva S. Cummings. The US Census 1930 shows the family living in Port Aransas while the US Census 1940 has them in Luling, Texas, and Elva is listed as "divorced."

Cummings enlisted at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas on November 1, 1941 as an aviation cadet. His enlistment papers confirm nativity and birth year, and also state he had completed 2 years of college (unnamed), and was a semiskilled routeman.

After completing pilot training, Cummings was commissioned, awarded wings, and assigned to transitional flying in multi-engined aircraft. He was assigned to the 301st Bomb Group. and deployed with them to England in 1942.

In October, 942, the 301st Bomb Group moved most of its aircraft to Algeria in North Africa. Some units moved as the front lines moved, so members of aircraft crews had a few stations in a short time.

On April 13, 1943, the aircraft left St. Donat, Algeria for a bombing run on targets in Sicily and Italy. It never returned. No details have been located on the loss of this aircraft.

Evidently, bodies of the crew were never recovered, as the crew is memorialized in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy on the Walls of the Missing.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records


Lt Duke D. Cummings was the assigned co-pilot on B-17F # 41-24394, named "Hockomolock Jock IV BB," assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron. No explanation of or for the name is given in aircraft records - just the name, number, and squadron call sign.

Missing Air Crew Report 16302 was issued. Outside of crew listing and aircraft identification, it merely states "Failed to return from mission." The crew is listed as:

1 Lt Jerry E. Thomas  p
1 Lt Duke D. Cummings  c-p
1 Lt Harry A. Wann, Jr.  nav
1 Lt William E. Loewecke  bomb
TSgt Julius J. Jacobs  eng/tt gun
TSgt Joel B. Busby  r/o
SSgt Ray O. Weeks  btg
SSgt James Agee  wg
Sgt  Robert F. Nance  photo
SSgt Richard J. Carignan  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date. Records state Thomas was promoted to Captain May 18, 1943.

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