|Birth: ||Sep. 24, 1924|
|Death: ||Jun. 12, 1944|
Biography of Dean given by his brother James "Jimmy" B. Aitken:
Dean Gray Aitken was born September 24, 1924 in Tilden, Randolph Co., Illinois, and was the first of four sons born to Hugh Emerson, and Grace Geraldine Gray Aitken.
The family later moved to a farm just outside of Tilden with a house and 10 acres of land and some livestock. As there were no ponies on the farm, he decided to break a calf and rode it for recreation.
The boys all walked to the Scotland rural school and later to the Pleasant Hill School. Around 1934 the family moved to another farm between Marissa and Sparta, Illinois where he worked on the thrashing crews to earn money to buy a 1932 Harley Davidson motorcycle.
He quite school his junior year and went to Alton, IL., to learn the trade of welding, but at age 19 he was drafted for service in WW2 on April 6, 1943 at Peoria, IL.
The following information is a summery of what was kindly sent to me in 2004 by Bill Davenport, the Group Historian of the 446th Bombardment Group Association and Dean's military record.
Dean was assigned to the 705th Squadron, 446th Group, which began assembling in February of 1944 at Salt Lake City, Utah, from there they were transferred by troop train to Gowen Field at Boise, Idaho where he trained as a ball turret gunner.
The crew was then transferred to AAF at Topeka, Kansas on 21 April, 1944 were they were issued a new B-24H bomber, "The Naughty Nan" from the factory including side arms, ammo for the machine guns, and other equipment for overseas duty.
The serial number for that plane was B-24H 42-94859 A. F.
This bomber was also the lead plane on D-Day, and after flying 13 successful missions it's final flight was on June 12, 1944.
Dean was with the Squadron #328, B.G. 93 group, the captain of this flight was 1/LT Wilbur H. Turner.
On a mission to Rennes, France, the Naughty Nan was heavily hit by 12 enemy fighters causing it to loose power and pull out of formation when the hydraulic and electrical systems failed.
As Dean was the turret gunner in the bottom of the plane, he had no power to turn the turret to get out of it.
Sgt. A.C. Brossett, was the right waist gunner and tried to help him but they were both killed while putting on their chutes as the bottom of the plane exploded and crashed near Chartres de Bretagne, five kilometers south of Rennes, France.
He was buried in Plot M, Row 3, Grave 18, in the Brittany Cemetery,
St. James France.
His awards were the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Purple Heart.
Dean G. Aitken
STAFF SERGEANT, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # 36480191
705th Bomber Squadron, 446th Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered the Service from: Illinois
Buried at: Plot M Row 3 Grave 18
Brittany American Cemetery
St. James, France
Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart
L Davenport originally added this memorial on July 18, 2005.
Hugh Emerson Aitken (1890 - 1960)
Grace Geraldine Gray Aitken (1897 - 1969)
Dean Gray Aitken (1924 - 1944)
Wayne Lyle Aitken (1927 - 2009)*
Wendell Gibson Aitken (1927 - 2011)*
Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement de la Manche
Plot: Plot M Row 3 Grave 18
Maintained by: Nancy~
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56349922