Sgt Benjamin Joseph Russell, Jr

Sgt Benjamin Joseph Russell, Jr

New Jersey, USA
Death 9 Jun 1944 (aged 20–21)
Ottendichl, Landkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Burial Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Plot I, 134-6
Memorial ID 3305589 · View Source
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Son of Benjamin Joseph Russell, Sr. and Gertrude Cecilia Bonk Russell.

Benjamin, who resided 511 Fallow Avenue, Woodcrest, New Castle County Delaware, served as a Sergeant and Radio Operator on B-24J #44-40479 "Hogan's Hellcats", 758th Bomber Squadron, 459th Bomber Group, Heavy, Fifteenth Air Force, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He enlisted in the Army on October 27, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Decorator and also as being Single, without dependents.

B-24J #44-40479 took off from Giuilia, Italy on a bombing mission over Munich, Germany. During "bombs away" they were hit by German ground anti-aircraft fire and crashed near Ottendichl, Germany during the war. 9 out of the 10 crew members were killed on this flight, only one survived.

Benjamin was "Killed In Action" in this crash.

He had served in the Air Force for one year and eight months at the time of his death.

Benjamin was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

He was originally interred in France and was later repatriated here on March 28, 1950.

Service # 12133323

The reason he is named on a group headstone is because when soldier's were killed in close proximity to each other they were unable, at that time, to identify them separately and interred their remains together in one grave.

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Airmen who perished on B-24J #44-40479:

Anderson, Robert L ~ Sgt, Gunner, SC
Baker, John D ~ Sgt, Gunner, MO
Beam, Lydon H, Jr ~ 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, OH
Beggs, Robert B ~ Sgt, Gunner, WI
Draper, Clinton M ~ Sgt, Gunner, UT
Jensen, William S ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, MO
Knott, Arthur H ~ FO, Bombardier, NY
Michaels, Walter H ~ 2nd Lt, Pilot, PA
Russell, Benjamin J, Jr ~ Sgt, Radio-Op, DE

The only survivor of this flight was:
Brosky, Leonard, 2nd Lt, Navigator, PA, POW

Bio & Crew Report by:
Russell S. "Russ" Pickett

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Leonard's hand-written note about the crash reads as follows:

"We dropped bombs and I think about 5 seconds later we went into a spin. I saw the Pilot, Co-Pilot, and Engineer try too leave their seats. I was navigating from the flight deck and using the Radio Operator's table. After my chute opened I looked for other chutes but did not see them. I heard from a gunner in a ship in front of us and the same Sqdn that it blew up in the vicinity of Munich. I don't even remember how my chute opened.


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  • Maintained by: Russ Pickett
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 3 Mar 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3305589
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Benjamin Joseph Russell, Jr (1923–9 Jun 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3305589, citing Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Russ Pickett (contributor 46575736) .