Ball, John L., Sgt

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 419th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Kentucky
Kentucky
Year of Birth
Not Specified
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Ball, John L., Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
419th Bomb Squadron
Oudna Base # 2, Tunisia

Casualty Date
Sep 25, 1943
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Italy
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 82, Site 242

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

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Aerial Gunner Badge


 
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)301st Bombardment Group, Heavy  419th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1941-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 419th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Not much has been located on John L. Ball's early life. It has been established that he was born in Rockcastle, Kentucky on September 16, 1921. His parents were George R. and Eva J. Ball. The US Census 1930 has the family in Livingston, Kentucky.

His NARA enlistment forms state he enlisted in the military on May 28, 1941 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky as a private. It further states he had completed 4 years of high school. His occupational group is given as "actor."

He was trained as an aerial gunner, and assigned to the combat crew led by Lt Stapleton. The crew arrived in Tunisia in July, 1943, and began flying missions against targets in North Africa and Italy.

On September 25, 1943, the crew was dispatched to bomb the Bolzana Railroad bridge in Italy. Enemy fighters were sighted, but did not attack the formation, but flak over the target was accurate and heavy.

Stapleton's aircraft dropped from the formation, streaming fuel from a ruptured fuel tank, evidently hit by flak. It went into a cloud bank, and no one sighted it afterward. It eventually crashed near Verona, Italy, killing all aboard.

The bodies were evidently recovered and buried locally, for after the war , the entire crew was returned to Missouri and buried in a common grave in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. The grave is in Section 82, Site 242.


www.findagrave.com
www.ancestry.com
www.301stbg.com/Missions_Macrs.cfm
US Census 1930
NARA Enlistment Records
 

  

Comments/Citation
Sgt John L. Ball was  the assigned tail gunner on B-17F # 42-5949, not named, assigned to the 419th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 767 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists state the crew consisted of:

1 Lt Edward F. Stapleton  p
2 Lt Robert G. Warner  c-p
2 Lt James R. Fitzgerald  nav
2 Lt Max E. Doyle  bomb
SSgt Edward G. Gehrt  eng/tt gun
Sgt  Raymond D. Wagner  r/o
Sgt  Teddy E. Ray  btg
Sgt  John S. Dignan  wg
Sgt  Oscar J. R. Daniels  wg
Sgt  John L. Ball  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Awards and decorations from 301st Bomb Group records.

   
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