Last Known Activity
Very little information has been found concerning the early life of Joseph B. Kyne. It is recorded that his birth date was March 10, 1921. Information gathered from the application for a headstone for him reveals that Arthur S. Kyne, of North Hollywood, California, was his father. One source states he was born in Nebraska; another says California. No military or Census data has been located for him or the family.
It is not known when he entered military service, but judging from his age, rank, and assignment dates, 1942 would be a logical assumption. The first appearance in the military record is on November 14, 1943, when he was assigned as a member of the combat crew led by Lt Purcell.
His first combat mission was flown on December 11, 1943, and he would be dispatched on five more (with one being an abortive sortie.) On January 11, 1944, the Purcell crew was part of a raid on the German city of Oschersleben.
After take-off and assembly, a recall was issued. Most of the bombers and all fighter escort turned back to England. One bomber commander claimed later that he heard no recall, so led his element to the target. Some of the bombers reached the target and hit it, but ten aircraft were shot down before reaching the target.
With no fighter support, the bombers were open to attack by enemy fighters. The Luftwaffe launched some 300 fighters against the small formation. Serial attacks by several planes made concerted attacks on the bombers. Purcell's plane, according to observers, was badly damaged. It fell out of formation and one wing came off. It then rolled over and exploded. No parachutes were seen. The wreckage fell near Lippen, Germany.
All crewmen, evidently killed, were recovered by the Germans and buried in a cemetery in Lemgo, Germany. After the war, according to the request for headstone record (8/31/1949), Kyne was returned to the U.S. and buried in the Clay Center Cemetery in Clay Center, Nebraska.
Application for Headstone, OQMG Form 623
Joseph B. Kyne was assigned duties as bombardier on B-17F # 42-29894, nicknamed "Baltimore Bounce," assigned to the 359th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 1928 and mission lists confirm the crew consisted of:
2 Lt William A. Purcell p
2 Lt Francis D. Krohn c-p
2 Lt Marvin H. Mussett nav
2 Lt Joseph B. Kyne bomb
SSgt Peter C. Castriciano eng/tt gun
SSgt James C. Beeny r/o
Sgt Leon N. Faner btg
Sgt Kermit W. Nye lwg
Sgt H.R. Eastburn rwg
Sgt John N. Swanson tail gun
In the crew photo, Kyne is in the back row, 4th from left.
Service photo source: