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1LT Carl A Bohnisch

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1LT Carl A Bohnisch

Birth
Death
5 Feb 1944 (aged 28)
France
Burial
Lindsay, Tulare County, California, USA
Plot
Addition 5, Lot 67
Memorial ID
116472994 View Source

First Lieutenant Bohnisch, a native of Tulare, CA, gave his life serving his country.
------------------------------------------------------------
USAAF WORLD WAR II
Pilot 1st/Lt. Carl A. Bohnisch KIA
Hometown: Lindsey, California
Squadron: 68th Sq. 44th Bomb Group
Service# 0-735031
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

MACR #2233
Target: Tours Airdrome, Central France
Mission Date: 5-Feb-44
Serial Number: #42-100181
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: Z,
Aircraft Name: STAR VALLEY
Location: St. Leonard en Beauce, near Blois
Cause: shot down by enemy aircraft
Crew of 9 8KIA 1POW

Fifteen of the 44th BG’s aircraft departed Shipdham at 0700 hours, reached the objective, bombed and return was at 1430 hours. One 68th Squadron aircraft did not return.

The 68th plane, STAR VALLEY, #42-100181 Z, was shot down by enemy aircraft, which made very concerted attacks against the Group’s formation. It crashed at St. Leonard en Beauce, near Blois on the crew’s eighth mission. Note: St. Leonard en Beauce is in the Loire-et-Cher region of France. Very little was recorded concerning this loss, including the MACR. The loss was caused by enemy aircraft, which managed to shoot off part of one wing. The plane went into a spin and couldn’t recover. Three parachutes were observed to come out and open. As there was only one survivor who cannot be located, no further information has been found to determine why only he managed to survived. Sgt. Keith Nutter from Perry’s crew (see more on this below) stated: “A FW 190 made an attack straight in on our nose, turned over on his back just as he passed under our left wing, then started down. As he came back up, I started firing straight down. He went down and with him went the B-24 which was flying on our left wing. Both seemed to hit the ground at approximately the same time and place. This fighter had hit our #2 engine and navigator’s compartment and also hit our wingman (Bohnisch) at the same time on that first pass. Our waist gunner claimed hits as well.”

In the 1990s, a chaplain named James A. Marvin from Hillsborough, New Hampshire heard from a group of French villagers who had additional information on this crash. The following account was translated from the French by Marvin’s wife:
“St. Leonard in Beauce, Saturday, 5 February 1944, 10:00 German time: After a white frost, the weather is very calm and the sky very clear. Coming from the east there appeared in the sky at a medium altitude a very large formation of bombers heading west to return to England. The significance of this squadron in perfect order made witness to a sight never seen. The rising sun illuminating under the planes which reflected to earth luminous streaks which moved.
“The inhabitants had gone out into street alerted by the strength of the roaring of the motors of such quantity of planes and this in spite of the altitude of these last ones. Each one commented on thinking that the place of the bombing must have been seriously hit. “Among the group of neighbors where I found myself, a wife of a Spanish lumberman who was there with his daughters, following a glance at this aerial parade, in terror cried “fire.” All turning at that moment, flames exiting from the left wing of the one (pair) near the outer motor. “Several minutes afterward, the aircraft reduced its altitude and a little after a parachute was seen opening behind the bomber. The fire spreading rapidly one then saw the aircraft start a downward spiral to the left – the ellipses reducing and in site of the reduced speed, the ground was soon reached.
“Immediately, a giant black cloud was visible rapidly following a loud explosion. Flames and smoke were quickly dissipated. The last lines of bombers disappeared to the west when at very low altitude and at lightning speed, a fighter plane passed several meters from the last houses in the direction from south to north. Was the pilot the Originator of the chute and who went across to see the result of his shooting? “Before the last moments, the eyewitnesses put forth some probabilities of where this plane could have crashed, to the west, passed the village of Sigogne. From afar the people, knowing the region had seen the impact not far from the farm of Monchaux. All the eyewitnesses of the unfolding of this catastrophe were certainly impacted by that which they came to see. “Without hesitating, the mayor, Monsieur Redouin, took his bike and in parting said, ‘It is necessary to look over the spot immediately.” [I must go to the crash site immediately.]’ “On returning, he indicated that the bodies had been gotten out of the plane with the help of the people who were there, lined up and covered with their parachutes. The Mayor had taken down the identity of the flyers of whom the state of the burns made it possible. He asked the people of the village to stay away and to not let their dogs wander over the place. “After lunch, we went with the son of the mayor to Sigogne to see the place. The wreckage was broken up, a motor was pulled off. A propeller was lying rather far away, under the detached motor and half-buried in the ground. One noticed a brown leather bag under this metallic mass. The ground was littered with metal, machine gun cartridges, and pieces of wreckage, such as the small electrical motors used inside this bomber. “This visit to the place did not last long for we noticed a column of German military come out from the hamlet of Sigogne where the trucks were parked. With the other curious who like us, wished to make a report on the place we believed the soldiers at arms coming from Blois. “From this moment on, there were no eyewitnesses for the transfer of the bodies or the salvage of the plane. The victims had been transferred to the cemeteries of Blois. The older students wanted to help and to decorate the graves, but they couldn’t leave the site. “The surviving parachutist (Sgt. Warren E. Klein), pushed northeast by the light breeze in the morning, ended his descent close to the farms of LaCoudraie, south of the Marchenoir Road from where, at that time, the path to the cow shed went off.
“The airman, after having rolled his parachute, approached the houses and went in by the north entrance at the Leroux-Genty Farm. The people of the house were not up to date on the events, and surprised by this presence, had the visitor come in for refreshment, but he accepted only some milk. “To leave his name at the French house which he came to enter he discreetly wrote his name on the back of an almanac taken from a hook on the wall. The German soldiers from the watch post of Boisseau burst into the house at the same moment. Madame Leroux treated several wounds on his head. This woman and her son died about 20 years later without having news of the American.”
From the City of Blois Cemetery Service comes this account dated 8 February 1944: “I, undersigned, Crussy Henri, commander of the Legion of Honor, Mayor of the city of Blois, certify that: Sunday, 6 February at 3 p.m. the German military authorities carried nine bodies to the city cemetery. The commanding officer of the detachment declared that it is a matter of nine servicemen of the American Army Air Corps fallen over the jurisdiction of the community of St. Leonard in Beauce. After having examined the papers, the German servicemen left the bodies in the hut located behind the caretaker’s dwelling and sealed it.
“7 February at 5 p.m. Doctor Land of the Field Command at Blois took us to proceed immediately to identify the bodies and put them in coffins which we did in the presence of a German military doctor. “After having removed the seals and opened the door of the hut, we certified that the bodies carried no distinctive marks, no papers or objects and that only five bodies had a name tag on their clothing.
“After this operation, we had the bodies placed in the coffins furnished by the German supply depot on the Avenue Chateaudun. The coffins were closed and numbered, we placed them, following the orders of the Feldkommandantur, in the public shelter. “8 February at 10:00 the Feldkommandantur ordered us to pace the coffins in the graves which had been prepared in the Basse street city cemetery from the west along the outer wall. “The grave have been numbered from 1 to 9. “8 February at 4 p.m. A detachment from the German army came to render military honors. Then we were given orders to fill the graves.”
The letter below dated 21 November 1944 was written by Roger Leroux: “Dear Friends, On the 5th day of February, 1944 an American plane fell in flames a mile from here and then exploded. It had been attacked by a German plane. A single airman jumped out in a parachute, but the nine others were killed and the plane reduced to a scrap heap. The nine bodies have been interred in the Blois cemetery. “The injured airman who parachuted, landed in a field and was discovered an hour later by our searching party and brought to our home. He was unable to walk and had a head injury. I do not believe that he was seriously injured. “The Germans were on the lookout for the parachutist in the vicinity and found him in our home, whereupon they took him as prisoner of war to Blois, 25 miles from here. The following day, according to information received, he recovered from his shock. “Since he did not leave an address, I have tried various means to get in touch with him, but have not received an answer. I would greatly appreciate if you could give me some news, that is, if you have some and I shall gladly give you further details. “Please accept my expression of sincerity.” Many years later, Mr. Leroux’s question about the identity of the airman was finally answered according to information supplied by Mr. Philippe Canonne: “At the end of July, I received a very touching letter from Mr. Frank M. Komor, the best friend of Warren Klein, the survivor of the crash. He told me that he encountered Warren when they were both prisoners and that Warren died on 25 April 1975 of a massive heart attack. He left behind three daughters and two sons.” Mr. Komor put Mr. Canonne in touch with Nancy Klein, one of Warren Klein’s daughters. On 8 May 1945 the city of Saint-Leonard-en-Beauce conducted a memorial service to honor the memory of these nine airmen who died there. In every subsequent year they have conducted a ceremony to honor their memory.

STAR VALLEY Crew
1st/Lt. Carl A. Bohnisch Pilot KIA
1st/Lt. John S. Giffin Co Pilot KIA
1st/Lt. Hubert J. Ede Navigator KIA
1st/Lt. Harold W. Spink Bombardier KIA
T/Sgt. William F. Leverich Engineer KIA
T/Sgt. Bernard A. Ohler Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. Eugene C. Edgerton Gunner
S/Sgt. Warren E. Klein Gunner POW RTD
S/Sgt. Kenneth E. Hall Gunner
S/Sgt. Joseph E. Morin Gunner

First Lieutenant Bohnisch, a native of Tulare, CA, gave his life serving his country.
------------------------------------------------------------
USAAF WORLD WAR II
Pilot 1st/Lt. Carl A. Bohnisch KIA
Hometown: Lindsey, California
Squadron: 68th Sq. 44th Bomb Group
Service# 0-735031
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

MACR #2233
Target: Tours Airdrome, Central France
Mission Date: 5-Feb-44
Serial Number: #42-100181
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: Z,
Aircraft Name: STAR VALLEY
Location: St. Leonard en Beauce, near Blois
Cause: shot down by enemy aircraft
Crew of 9 8KIA 1POW

Fifteen of the 44th BG’s aircraft departed Shipdham at 0700 hours, reached the objective, bombed and return was at 1430 hours. One 68th Squadron aircraft did not return.

The 68th plane, STAR VALLEY, #42-100181 Z, was shot down by enemy aircraft, which made very concerted attacks against the Group’s formation. It crashed at St. Leonard en Beauce, near Blois on the crew’s eighth mission. Note: St. Leonard en Beauce is in the Loire-et-Cher region of France. Very little was recorded concerning this loss, including the MACR. The loss was caused by enemy aircraft, which managed to shoot off part of one wing. The plane went into a spin and couldn’t recover. Three parachutes were observed to come out and open. As there was only one survivor who cannot be located, no further information has been found to determine why only he managed to survived. Sgt. Keith Nutter from Perry’s crew (see more on this below) stated: “A FW 190 made an attack straight in on our nose, turned over on his back just as he passed under our left wing, then started down. As he came back up, I started firing straight down. He went down and with him went the B-24 which was flying on our left wing. Both seemed to hit the ground at approximately the same time and place. This fighter had hit our #2 engine and navigator’s compartment and also hit our wingman (Bohnisch) at the same time on that first pass. Our waist gunner claimed hits as well.”

In the 1990s, a chaplain named James A. Marvin from Hillsborough, New Hampshire heard from a group of French villagers who had additional information on this crash. The following account was translated from the French by Marvin’s wife:
“St. Leonard in Beauce, Saturday, 5 February 1944, 10:00 German time: After a white frost, the weather is very calm and the sky very clear. Coming from the east there appeared in the sky at a medium altitude a very large formation of bombers heading west to return to England. The significance of this squadron in perfect order made witness to a sight never seen. The rising sun illuminating under the planes which reflected to earth luminous streaks which moved.
“The inhabitants had gone out into street alerted by the strength of the roaring of the motors of such quantity of planes and this in spite of the altitude of these last ones. Each one commented on thinking that the place of the bombing must have been seriously hit. “Among the group of neighbors where I found myself, a wife of a Spanish lumberman who was there with his daughters, following a glance at this aerial parade, in terror cried “fire.” All turning at that moment, flames exiting from the left wing of the one (pair) near the outer motor. “Several minutes afterward, the aircraft reduced its altitude and a little after a parachute was seen opening behind the bomber. The fire spreading rapidly one then saw the aircraft start a downward spiral to the left – the ellipses reducing and in site of the reduced speed, the ground was soon reached.
“Immediately, a giant black cloud was visible rapidly following a loud explosion. Flames and smoke were quickly dissipated. The last lines of bombers disappeared to the west when at very low altitude and at lightning speed, a fighter plane passed several meters from the last houses in the direction from south to north. Was the pilot the Originator of the chute and who went across to see the result of his shooting? “Before the last moments, the eyewitnesses put forth some probabilities of where this plane could have crashed, to the west, passed the village of Sigogne. From afar the people, knowing the region had seen the impact not far from the farm of Monchaux. All the eyewitnesses of the unfolding of this catastrophe were certainly impacted by that which they came to see. “Without hesitating, the mayor, Monsieur Redouin, took his bike and in parting said, ‘It is necessary to look over the spot immediately.” [I must go to the crash site immediately.]’ “On returning, he indicated that the bodies had been gotten out of the plane with the help of the people who were there, lined up and covered with their parachutes. The Mayor had taken down the identity of the flyers of whom the state of the burns made it possible. He asked the people of the village to stay away and to not let their dogs wander over the place. “After lunch, we went with the son of the mayor to Sigogne to see the place. The wreckage was broken up, a motor was pulled off. A propeller was lying rather far away, under the detached motor and half-buried in the ground. One noticed a brown leather bag under this metallic mass. The ground was littered with metal, machine gun cartridges, and pieces of wreckage, such as the small electrical motors used inside this bomber. “This visit to the place did not last long for we noticed a column of German military come out from the hamlet of Sigogne where the trucks were parked. With the other curious who like us, wished to make a report on the place we believed the soldiers at arms coming from Blois. “From this moment on, there were no eyewitnesses for the transfer of the bodies or the salvage of the plane. The victims had been transferred to the cemeteries of Blois. The older students wanted to help and to decorate the graves, but they couldn’t leave the site. “The surviving parachutist (Sgt. Warren E. Klein), pushed northeast by the light breeze in the morning, ended his descent close to the farms of LaCoudraie, south of the Marchenoir Road from where, at that time, the path to the cow shed went off.
“The airman, after having rolled his parachute, approached the houses and went in by the north entrance at the Leroux-Genty Farm. The people of the house were not up to date on the events, and surprised by this presence, had the visitor come in for refreshment, but he accepted only some milk. “To leave his name at the French house which he came to enter he discreetly wrote his name on the back of an almanac taken from a hook on the wall. The German soldiers from the watch post of Boisseau burst into the house at the same moment. Madame Leroux treated several wounds on his head. This woman and her son died about 20 years later without having news of the American.”
From the City of Blois Cemetery Service comes this account dated 8 February 1944: “I, undersigned, Crussy Henri, commander of the Legion of Honor, Mayor of the city of Blois, certify that: Sunday, 6 February at 3 p.m. the German military authorities carried nine bodies to the city cemetery. The commanding officer of the detachment declared that it is a matter of nine servicemen of the American Army Air Corps fallen over the jurisdiction of the community of St. Leonard in Beauce. After having examined the papers, the German servicemen left the bodies in the hut located behind the caretaker’s dwelling and sealed it.
“7 February at 5 p.m. Doctor Land of the Field Command at Blois took us to proceed immediately to identify the bodies and put them in coffins which we did in the presence of a German military doctor. “After having removed the seals and opened the door of the hut, we certified that the bodies carried no distinctive marks, no papers or objects and that only five bodies had a name tag on their clothing.
“After this operation, we had the bodies placed in the coffins furnished by the German supply depot on the Avenue Chateaudun. The coffins were closed and numbered, we placed them, following the orders of the Feldkommandantur, in the public shelter. “8 February at 10:00 the Feldkommandantur ordered us to pace the coffins in the graves which had been prepared in the Basse street city cemetery from the west along the outer wall. “The grave have been numbered from 1 to 9. “8 February at 4 p.m. A detachment from the German army came to render military honors. Then we were given orders to fill the graves.”
The letter below dated 21 November 1944 was written by Roger Leroux: “Dear Friends, On the 5th day of February, 1944 an American plane fell in flames a mile from here and then exploded. It had been attacked by a German plane. A single airman jumped out in a parachute, but the nine others were killed and the plane reduced to a scrap heap. The nine bodies have been interred in the Blois cemetery. “The injured airman who parachuted, landed in a field and was discovered an hour later by our searching party and brought to our home. He was unable to walk and had a head injury. I do not believe that he was seriously injured. “The Germans were on the lookout for the parachutist in the vicinity and found him in our home, whereupon they took him as prisoner of war to Blois, 25 miles from here. The following day, according to information received, he recovered from his shock. “Since he did not leave an address, I have tried various means to get in touch with him, but have not received an answer. I would greatly appreciate if you could give me some news, that is, if you have some and I shall gladly give you further details. “Please accept my expression of sincerity.” Many years later, Mr. Leroux’s question about the identity of the airman was finally answered according to information supplied by Mr. Philippe Canonne: “At the end of July, I received a very touching letter from Mr. Frank M. Komor, the best friend of Warren Klein, the survivor of the crash. He told me that he encountered Warren when they were both prisoners and that Warren died on 25 April 1975 of a massive heart attack. He left behind three daughters and two sons.” Mr. Komor put Mr. Canonne in touch with Nancy Klein, one of Warren Klein’s daughters. On 8 May 1945 the city of Saint-Leonard-en-Beauce conducted a memorial service to honor the memory of these nine airmen who died there. In every subsequent year they have conducted a ceremony to honor their memory.

STAR VALLEY Crew
1st/Lt. Carl A. Bohnisch Pilot KIA
1st/Lt. John S. Giffin Co Pilot KIA
1st/Lt. Hubert J. Ede Navigator KIA
1st/Lt. Harold W. Spink Bombardier KIA
T/Sgt. William F. Leverich Engineer KIA
T/Sgt. Bernard A. Ohler Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. Eugene C. Edgerton Gunner
S/Sgt. Warren E. Klein Gunner POW RTD
S/Sgt. Kenneth E. Hall Gunner
S/Sgt. Joseph E. Morin Gunner


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