Pius, son of Jacob Kuntz and Theresia Mastel, was born in Napoleon North Dakota in 1920. After high school he attended North Dakota State College for a year until he had an opportunity to work as a machinist in Los Angeles, California.
In California he met 19 year old Virginia Jaycox and in 1941 they eloped to Las Vegas. They lived in Van Nuys California near an airbase where Pius began flying. Pius loved flying and in July 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and accepted as an Aviation Cadet in 1943.
2nd Lieutenant Pius G Kuntz was soon flying combat missions over German skies in WWII. Pius was part of the 9TH Air Force, 367th fighter group nicknamed The "Dynamite Gang", 392 fighter squadron in Belgium and later in Clastres Airfield in France. The fighter squadron, code named "Nobhole" was led by group commander Edwin S. Chickering and the 392nd made quite a record. Pius flew over 45 successful sorties and was shot down twice. The second time was fatal.
On 25 March 1945, flying a P-47D Thunderbolt fighter, Pius was on a dive bombing mission, the target was in Aschaffenburg. He was shot down near Dettingen Germany by enemy flak. The Kuntz family requested the body be returned to North Dakota. Four years later in 1949 the military said they found his grave in a small cemetery in Germany and sent remains back home for burial. He was only 24 years old when he was killed in action serving our country.
Pius was a true hero.
Information was shared by Geri Mastel, Marjorie Jaycox Seltmann, Denise Yanega, members of the 367th fighter group, and the USAAF mission report.
Virginia Jane Jaycox Prendergast
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