|Death: ||May 20, 1944, Belgium|
710 BS 447 BG 8 AF. B-17G.
Aboard plane 42-97176 was shot down on 20 May 1944.
Members of the "Miss Bombshell" crew:
Lt. Archibald E. Town, Pilot
2Lt. Robert C. Lewis, Co-pilot
2Lt. Duane A. Kesterke, Navigator, KIA
2Lt. Charles H. Oulehla, Bombardier, KIA
TSgt. John Thomas Harwell, Top Turret Gunner - KIA
SSgt. Gustave Secunda, Radio Operator - KIA
Sgt Simpson Bogard Gray, Ball Turret Gunner - KIA.
SSgt. John T. Schomburger, Left Waist Gunner - KIA
SSgt. Everett W. White, Right Waist Gunner - KIA
Sgt. Arthur R. Baker, Tail Gunner - KIA
Lt. D. A. Kesterke Reported Missing
Lost Since May 20 Over Belgium
EAU CLAIRE, June 10 - Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Kesterke of Eau Claire route 2, learned recently that their son, second Lt. Duane A. Kesterke, 20, has been missing since May 20 following a bombing mission over Belgium. This information was received from the Kesterke's daughter-in-law. Mrs. Joan Watson Kesterke of Dowagiac who has been advised from the war department by telegram earlier in the evening. The latter, who became the bride of Lt. Kesterke shortly after he entered his final phase of training at Ardmore, Okla., is living with her parents, the Lyle Watsons. Lt. Kesterke, was navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress, which he and his fellow crew members had named "Miss Bombshell." He started his high schooling in Eau Claire but was graduated from the Central high school in Dowagiac with the class of 1942. He was a member of the varsity football team there. Duane enlisted in the army air corps in the fall of '42 after entering Western Michigan College of Education at Kalamazoo. He was commissioned a second lieutenant at San Marcos, Texas, in December, 1943 after training at various Texas, Colorado and California Army air bases. Following operational training at Ardmore, Okla., his squadron went overseas landing in England on March 20 of this year. In the two months he has been on active duty he had taken part in an exceptionally large number of missions and has already been awarded the air medal with two oak leaf clusters, two battle stars, and a special citation for shooting down a German plane. His plane was one of a fleet of 6,000 Anglo-American aircraft flying over Belgium targets on May 20 and according to newspaper accounts of the raid only two of the heavy bombers, one of which Duane was on, and of the 6,000 planes failed to return to their English bases across the channel. (The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, MI, Saturday, June 10, 1944, p. 12, Col. 1)
Missing in Action, WWII, In Loving Memory
Eau Claire Cemetery
Created by: mokennehan
Record added: May 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 69300342