|Birth: ||Jan. 20, 1925|
|Death: ||Dec. 2, 1944, Germany|
On 29 Jun 1943, Leslie F. Cannon (B: 1925, Ohio), a resident of Perry County, enlisted as a Private in Columbus, Ohio (WWII Enlistments).
During World War II, SSGT Leslie F. Cannon served with the 577th Bombardment Squadron, 392nd Bomb Group. He was killed in action over Germany. Among his awards are the Air Medal, Purple Heart, Europe-Middle East-Africa Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. His parents were Arthur and Aurilla "Rilla" J. Cannon of New Lexington, Ohio. Identified siblings were Gerald Eugene "Gene", Marcella, and Marilyn.
On 2 Dec 1944, Leslie was the Engineer on a B-24 Liberator; tail number 42-50323 D-Plus which was piloted by 2LT Edward J. Cieply. It was the 33rd mission for the aircraft named "Heaven Can Wait" and its target was Bingen, Germany. At 0515 and 0640 hours, eighteen aircrews were briefed on the target and at 0930, all began their take-offs. Two squadrons were sortied flying high and low formations out of Shipdham Airfield near Dereham, England. The mission went orderly until the initial point (IP) where heavy clouds were encountered for start of the bomb run. At that position, the high squadron managed to avoid the weather and bomb the target. The 577th Squadron, flying in the low position, were scattered out just west of the IP but made their bomb run through the clouds. This Squadron broke out of the weather right over the release smoke of the lead ship of 44th Bomb Group which caused a late bomb drop. At the rallying turning point about 1244 hours, the 577th was hit by an estimated 50 FW-109 fighters between Bingen and Bad Kreuznach to the northeast. The fierce attacks lasted for around fifteen minutes with fighters attacking above and below — tail astern. Six of the 577th crews were lost in the attack with very little known about their status since the Squadron was so badly broken up by the attack. Missing Aircrew Report (MACR) #11138 indicated that the "Heaven Can Wait" was scattered near the village of Stipshausen
German Report #KU3468 accounted for the Cieply crew loss in stating that the plane had exploded while airborne, and the crash conflagration completely destroyed the ship where pieces were scattered over a three kilometer area near the village of Stipshausen, five kilometers southwest of Rhaunen, eighteen kilometers north of Idar-Oberstein. All nine members of the aircrew were positively identified by the Germans at the crash site at approximately 1300 hours, and none apparently ever had the opportunity to bail out before the plane exploded. The German Report noted a few pieces of the plane's wreckage which identified it as the Cieply ship; I.E: a yellow letter "D" and number "323" found on a piece of the fuselage nose section, as only one of the two items discovered. German Report #KU3468 indicated all members were interred in the village cemetery at Rhaunen on 12 December 1944. The Mainz-Finthen Headquarters reported the event on a 22 December 1944. Subsequent reburials by U.S. Military authorities in U.S. National Overseas Cemetery reflect the following interments, all in the cemetery of Lorraine at St. AvoId, France, 28 miles east of Metz: Navigator 2LT Otto Griesar (Grave E-44-18), awarded an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Nose Gunner SSGT Levan I. Bogardus (Grave B-19-40); Radio Operator TSGT George W. Cade Jr. (Grave D-39-23), awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart; Engineer SSGT Leslie F. Cannon (Grave C-7-53), awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart; and Wing Gunner SSGT William D. Kinsinger (Grave A-32-35), awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. No indications on these U.S. listings indicate if Sgt Bogardus, Sgt Kinsinger, or Lt Greisar were ever awarded the Purple Heart. Wing Gunner SSGT Arthur G. Montez was interred at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery (Section S Site 156). No U.S. cemetery overseas records indicate any information on the re-interments of Pilot 2LT Edward J. Cieply, Co-Pilot 2LT Lee M. Brooks, or Tail Gunner SSGT Clarence F. Huston.
A summary of mission circumstances which directly affected all aircraft and aircrews lost from the 392nd formations pointed directly to the Group bombers being attacked heavily by enemy fighters just after "bombs away" on target, and while flying in very hazy, overcast cloud conditions at that time. It was one of the 392nd's roughest missions ever flown in terms of aircraft and aircrew casualties. It would be the highest attrition the Group would ever suffer through the remaining missions of World War II. It was also ironic that on that evening, the 200th mission party celebration for all Enlisted Men of the 392nd was planned.
Arthur F. Cannon (1904 - 1972)
Aurilla J. Williams Cannon (1905 - 1947)
Note: Entered the service from Ohio.
Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement de la Moselle
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Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56653459
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