John Lester “Jack” Quail Jr.


John Lester “Jack” Quail Jr.

Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, USA
Death 6 Mar 1998 (aged 77)
Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey County, California, USA
Burial Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA
Plot Block 1, Section 126, Space 1
Memorial ID 117411458 View Source

Navigator 1st/Lt. John L. Quail Jr. EVD
Squadron: 66th 44th Bomb Group
Awards: Air Medal
Pilot 1st/Lt. Louis E. Zweig RTD

Target: Munich
MACR# 5711
Date Lost: 11-Jul-44
Serial Number: #41-28776
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name:
Location: Near Lille, France
Cause: Flak over Munich Crew of 12 8KIA 4RTD

The Zweig crew flew 13 missions together with the 392nd before they were transferred to the 44th Bomb Group. Their last mission with the 392nd BG was on 8 June.

The Zweig crew then flew four missions with the 44th BG, on 28 and 29 June and 6 and 7 July. On 11 July 1944, they ran out of fuel while returning from a mission to Munich. Eight of the twelve men, were killed in action. (For a complete list of the crew, see 44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties at

Per information from copilot 1/Lt John L. "Jack" Quail Jr. on
We were part of the Pathfinder Squadron and consequently flew to pick up command personnel from the designated group and squadron for each mission. This is the reason Conrad and Thielen are on the list. Major Conrad was visiting which accounts for Copilot Burge being in the rear.

Damaged by flak over Munich, we left formation and headed across France toward Dover, England. Near Lille, France, with the English Channel in radar range, we ran out of fuel. Orders were given to bail out and Mollen and Quail opened the bomb bay and were first out. What happened afterwards is not fully known, but I heard a B-24 aircraft go into a spin—it was a cloudy day and I couldn't see the plane--then heard an explosion. Everyone in the back of the plane went down with the ship.

According to his statement in Missing Air Crew Report #5711, 1/Lt Zweig said the fuel tanks were damaged during the mission. The crew was advised they were going to try and make Dover and to take positions for ditching. When the plane was about five miles from Dunkirk, all engines stopped working. Zweig personally gave the bail-out signal and made three calls on the interphone to ensure everyone knew to abandon ship. He then bailed out.

Major Conrad reported in MACR 7511 that he last saw Baxter on the flight deck checking the Tokyo tanks to see if they had any fuel. He gave the bailout signal at about 9,000 feet. He saw Zweig and other flight deck personnel bail out through the bomb bays. He either checked in person or called via the radio to ensure the entire crew had been alerted to bail out. Getting no response, he had to assume they had left the ship and he bailed out at about 5,000 ft. To the best of his knowledge, he was the last person to bail out of the ship. As he was descending, he saw parachutes on the ground.

The casualties were buried in the Military Cemetery at St. Omer by the Germans. After the war, some were reinterred in the USA. or Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Colleville-sur-Mer France.

Crew of 41-28776
Major James D. Conrad Sr. Command Pilot EVD
1st/Lt. Louis E. Zweig 1st Pilot EVD
1st/Lt. John L. Quail Jr. Navigator EVD
2nd/Lt. Milton Mollen Radar POW
1st/Lt. James C. Bruce Jr. Bombardier KIA
2nd/Lt. Harold L. Burge Co Pilot KIA
2nd/Lt. Charles M. Thielen Passenger KIA
T/Sgt. Orus E. Baxter Jr. Engineer KIA
T/Sgt. Cornelius J. Callahan Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. Max M. Jessen Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Louis F. Smith Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Samuel R. Strally Gunner KIA

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  • Created by: John Dowdy
  • Added: 21 Sep 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 117411458
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Lester “Jack” Quail Jr. (29 Dec 1920–6 Mar 1998), Find a Grave Memorial ID 117411458, citing Belmont Memorial Park, Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .