Houck, John W., Jr., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
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 Houck, John W., Jr., 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
Not Specified
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

 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, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1054, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, 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 records located, John W. Houck was born in Michigan in 1917. He was a son of John W, Sr and Marie Houck. The US Census 1930 shows the family living in Detroit.

Houck enlisted as an aviation cadet at March Field, California on May 2, 1941. His NARA enlistment forms records he had completed 3 years of college (unnamed), and was working as a semiskilled lineman. He received pilot training, and then was assigned to the 301st Bomb Group and deployed to England.

He qualified as co-pilot on the B-17 aircraft, and became a member of Lt Godwin's crew. He flew his first missions primarily against targets in France. In October, 1942, the 301st Bomb Group transferred aircraft and personnel to North Africa, where they flew against targets in North Africa, and later in Sicily and the Italian mainland.

On April 18, 1943, the crew was alerted for a raid on the marshalling yards at Palermo, Sicily. Approximately, 20 miles out from the target, the formation was attacked by German fighters. Godwin's aircraft was hit by cannon fire from 2 ME-110 planes, with the result that #2 engine was set ablaze. As the fire spread rapidly, the aircraft plunged into the ocean. No parachutes were seen.

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

NARA Enlistment Records

NOTE: The wreckage of the aircraft was discovered by an Italian dive team on October 5, 2015, approximately 4 miles from shore off Palermo. The wreck rests in 75 feet of water. No retrieval of artifacts or remains will be attempted, as it has been declared "a war grave."


Lt John W. Houck was the assigned co-pilot of B-17F #41-24371, named "Devils from Hell," assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 16508 was issued for this loss of crew/aircraft. Mission loading lists state the crew was composed of:

1 Lt Bobby M. Godwin  p
1 Lt John W. Houck  c-p
2 Lt John M. 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.

Some sources indicate Lt Hope was the co-pilot instead of Lt Houck. Records of the 301st Bomb Group state Houck was  co-pilot.

NOTE: On October 5, 2015, a dive team located the wreckage about 5 miles from Palermo, Sicily. Nothing will be taken from it, including human remains, as it has been designated "a war grave."

Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011