|Birth: ||Dec. 12, 1924|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jul. 29, 1944, At Sea|
Died age 19. Veteran of World War II; Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Force; Service No. 32736648. Enlisted as a private 30 January 1941. In May of 1943, as a Private First Class, he received airplane mechanic training at Gulfport, Mississippi.
Served in the 44th Bomber Group, 506th Squadron ("The Green-Nosed Flying 8-Balls") flying B-24 Liberators, stationed at Shipdham, England. The 44th flew 344 missions and lost 153 aircraft, the highest casualty rate of all the B-24 units.
The area near Bremen, Germany (specifically Oslebshausen) was the target the morning of 29 July 1944 when 34 aircraft were sent out. Only 32 made it to the target due to a collision of two of the planes only a few miles off the English coast near Cromer. Only one man survived from the two crews.
Serving in the nose turret of a bomber that was hit by another plane, Sergeant Behnke was killed in action, lost in the North Sea and never recovered. He and the other men from his crew who died and were never found are listed on the Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery.
The crew of the bomber (per MACR #7803):
2d Lt. Bernard J. Eberhardt, Jr., Pilot, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2d Lt. John A. Airoldi, Co-Pilot, from Joliet, Illinois
2d Lt. Seymour Gleichenhaus, Navigator, from New York City, NY
2d Lt. Milton R. Beirne, Bombardier, from Richmond, Virginia
S/Sgt. Alva F. Favors, Engineer, from Frankton, Indiana (he was rescued from the sea)
S/Sgt. John V. Raniello, Radio Operator, from Brockton, Massachusetts
Sgt. Victor Parker, Right Wing Gunner, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sgt. Wayne D. Garrett, Left Wing Gunner, from Lomita, California
Sgt. George C. Behnke, Nose Turret, from Syracuse, New York
S/Sgt. Gale H. Gross, Tail Turret, from Vancouver, Washington (his body was later recovered and buried in England).
[Sgt. George Behnke's first cousin from Syracuse, 2nd Lieutenant James C. Shanklin, is also buried in this cemetery.]
Charles John Behnke (1886 - 1952)
Anna Marie Kreft Behnke (1882 - 1961)
Charles J. Behnke (1906 - 1991)*
Edward F. Behnke (1908 - 1980)*
Elsa Behnke Gratien (1909 - 1968)*
Ernest W. Behnke (1910 - 1968)*
Anna Behnke Reed (1913 - 1992)*
John F. Behnke (1915 - 1988)*
Marie E. Behnke Fisk (1916 - 2003)*
Margaret Helen Behnke Smith (1917 - 2006)*
Norma Behnke Santy (1921 - 2009)*
George C. Behnke (1924 - 1944)
Robert C. Behnke (1926 - 2011)*
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Maintained by: Memories of You
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56287704