Last Known Activity
George R. Bennett was born in Pennsylvania in 1924. His father's name was Raymond, but no data located reveals his mother's name.
It is known he was drafted, and inducted into military service at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia on June 17, 1943. His enlistment file states he had completed 3 years of high school, and was single. He was assigned to the Army Air Forces, and trained as a radio operator. He was sent to crew training, in a crew led by Lt. Dodrill. This crew arrived in England in October, 1944, and was dispatched on 12 missions.
On January 10, 1945, the crew took part in a raid on facilities in Cologne, Germany. Over the target, the aircraft dropped from formation, and turned to a heading toward Belgium. One source states one engine was out, but this is not confirmed. The aircraft never returned to base.
Rumors supplemented the disappearance of this aircraft and crew. It was said to have crashed intact at Gladburg, Germany. The Luftwaffe supposedly restored it and flew it as a decoy. This is false. Most agencies now agree it crashed into the North Sea. No remains were recovered, and after one year, a FOD (Finding of Death) was issued for the crew. They are memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.
NARA Enlistment Records
Cpl George R. Bennett was acting as radio operator and dorsal gunner on B-17G # 42-37936, named "All American Girl," assigned to the 351st Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 11744 was issued, although it contains no details of the loss. Crew rosters and personnel files show the crew as:
2 Lt John J. Dodrill p
2 Lt David S. Williams c-p
1 Lt Ralph W. Bayer, Jr. nav
SSgt David W. Pitman ng/tog
Cpl Harry E. Mitchell eng/tt gun
Cpl George R. Bennett r/o
Cpl Myron E. Warner btg
Cpl Garland L. Joseph wg
Cpl Roy E. Toll tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Lt Bayer replaced F/O John D. Gross on the crew. SSgt Pitman was flying as nose gunner and togglier.
In the Dodrill crew photo, Bennett is standing, 3rd from left.
Service photo source: