Godwin, Bobby M., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 301st Bombardment Group, 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 Godwin, Bobby M., 1st Lt.

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
Fort Worth
Last Address
353rd Bomb Squadron
St. Donat, Algeria

Casualty Date
Apr 18, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial - Carthage, Tunisia
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

 Photo Album   (More...

 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 1091, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1091, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 301st Bombardment Group, 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
 Colleges Attended 
Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
  1938-1940, Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Bobby M. Godwin was born in 1920 in Texas, according to his NARA enlistment documents.

He enlisted in Dallas, Texas on July 14, 1941, as an aviation cadet. His enlistment papers state he had completed 3 years of college, (identified by another source as Texas A&M) was single, and that his occupation lay within the actor/actress field. (Family sources state he was actually married.)

A newspaper article places him as a graduating member of Pilot Training Class 19J1 at Randolph Field, Texas, on February 20, 1942 (Family information.) He later was given transitional training into multi-engined aircraft. He was deployed to England in 1942 with the 301st Bomb Group, given a crew, and began flying missions, mainly over France.

In October, 1942, the 301st Bomb Group transferred a number of aircraft and crews to North Africa for missions there, and later against Sicily and Italy. On April 18, 1943, the aircraft and crew set out to attack the railway marshalling yards at Palermo, Sicily.

About 20 miles from the target area, the formation was attacked by enemy aircraft. Two ME-110 fighters made firing passes at the aircraft, and set the #2 engine on fire. Burning fiercely, the aircraft dove into the sea off Sicily. No parachutes were observed.

No remains were ever recovered, and Lt Godwin is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Carthage, Tunisia.

NARA Enlistment Records
Corpus Christi (TX) newspaper Caller-Times, issue Dec 10, 1941, page 5

NOTE: THe wreckage of the aircraft was found by an Italian dive team on October 5, 2015. It lies in water approximately 75 feet deep, and 4 miles from Palermo, Sicily. No attempt to retrieve anything from it, as it has been declared a "war grave."


Lt Bobby M. Godwin was the assigned pilot on B-17F # 41-24371, named "Devils from Hell," assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 16508 was issued to cover this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:

1 Lt Bobby M. Godwin  p
1 Lt John W. Houck  c-p
2 Lt John H. Person  nav
1 Lt Virgil E. Hope  bomb
Sgt  Robert B. Imler  eng/tt gun
Sgt  Robert S. Littrel  r/o
Sgt  Arthur L. Nilges  btg
Sgt  Frank Spatafore  wg
Sgt William M. Hawkins  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Several sources state Lt Hope was the co-pilot, but all 301st BG records indicate Lt Houck flew this position, and Lt Hope was the bombardier.

Service photo source:
Family (Barry Duckworth, Mar 1, 2016)

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