|Birth: ||May 1, 1917|
|Death: ||Jul. 12, 1944, Germany|
Sergeant Degenhart was the son of Margaret Samson and Walter Degenhart. Per Cook County records, he married Winifred Johnson on 24 April 1940. Based upon the rank reflected on his tombstone, he likely entered the Army Air Force as an aviation cadet but, like many others of the time, was unable to complete that program. He completed aerial gunnery school and by early summer of 1944 he was a Sergeant stationed in England, assigned to the 524th Bomb Squadron, 379th Bomb Group (H), at Kimbolton Field.
On 12 July 1944, Sergeant Degenhart was the Waist Gunner on B-17G, #42-38192, during a bombing mission at Munich, Germany. Based upon the Missing Air Crew Report, the aircraft sustained heavy flak damage at the target area and was last seen going down in a controlled flight at 1430 hours near Bourg-Bruche, France. The post-war report provides that three of the four engines were lost and the pilot attempted to fly the plane to Switzerland. However, the plane crashed at 1500 hours near the town of Feldburg, approximately 18 kilometers SW of Freiburg-Breisgau, Germany. Eight of the nine aircrew members were killed on impact. In addition to Sgt Degenhart, those KIA were 2Lt Bruce A. Hutchins (Pilot), 2Lt Robert H. Webber (Co-Pilot), 2Lt James R. Haile (Navigator), Sgt Grover J. Bowen (Nose Gunner/Togglier), SSgt Robert L. Shaffer (Radio Op), SSgt George N. White (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner) and Sgt Walter E. Collins (Tail gunner). Sgt James L. Stutts (Ball Turret Gunner) survived the crash and was held as a POW until April 1945.
After the war, Sergeant Degenhart's body was exhumed from it's German burial location and re-interned in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
St. Louis County
Plot: SECTION 79 SITE 404C-D
Maintained by: David Oxford
Originally Created by: Eric Kreft
Record added: Jan 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32946602