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S/Sgt Walter E Luckenbill, 310th BG, 380th BS, B-25 Shot-down /POW
1945 | Italy
Walter; **** R: Walter E. Luckenbill, S/Sgt--POW; RTD *****
Walter E Luckenbill; Birth: Mar. 2, 1918 - Death: Jun. 8, 1988 Parents: Albert Alderado Luckenbill, Martha Nellie Coon
S/Sgt Walter E Luckenbill served during WWII in the 310th Bomb Group, 380th BS, B-25 Mitchells in the MTO. Walter went down over Target in Austria and was one of 4 to get out but was captured and taken as a POW on 4 April, 1945. S/Sgt Luckenbill was a Radio/Gunner in the B-25 J "BETTSIE" #43-27737.
On 04 April 1945, during a Bombing Mission, Aircraft B-25J; 43-27552, Nicknamed "Pretzel", collided with the leading Aircraft, B-25J; 43-27737, Nicknamed, "Bettsie", of the second box, while forming #getting back into formation#, after break away from the target, of the Drauburg Railroad Bridge, Austria. Lt. Miller's plane's Left Wing was torn away, and his aircraft went into a steep dive, crashing into the ground, #in Italy# and killing all 6 crew members. Lt. Oliver's plane was badly damaged, but he maintained control of it long enough for some of his crew to bail out, before it too crashed to the ground. Lt. Oliver; his Bombardier, Lt. Syfert; and his Turret Gunner, S/Sgt. Shelton; were Killed In Action. The four surviving crew members were captured by the Germans, and held as Prisoners of War. .
310thBG--380thBS--04 April 1945--MACR 13685
A/C: B-25J; 43-27737; Nicknamed "Bettsie"
P: Donald E. Oliver, 1Lt.--KIA
CP: Raleigh R. Palmer, 2Lt--POW; RTD
N: Stephen F. Speidel, F/O--POW; RTD
B: Thaine A. Syfert, 1Lt--KIA
R: Walter E. Luckenbill, S/Sgt--POW; RTD
Turret G: Grady M. Shelton, S/Sgt--KIA
Tail G: Robert A. Adams, S/Sgt--POW; RTD
Barbara Ennis Connolly PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com with the 310th/ 321st Bomb Group History Team, John T Fitzgerald and Patti Johnson.