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 Kenneth Arthur Breshears

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Kenneth Arthur Breshears

  • Birth 1 Nov 1921 Buffalo, Dallas County, Missouri, USA
  • Death 6 Jan 2003 Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
  • Plot Section 10, Grave 1065
  • Memorial ID 8903182


Visit Kenneth's military career and awards.

This article appeared in the Bolivar paper:

Pvt. Kenneth A. Breshears, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Breshears of Goodson, was enrolled as a student a few days ago in the great airplane mechanics school of Keesler Field, Miss., a unit of the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command. Private Breshears has completed his basic training. At Keesler he will undergo 16 weeks of instruction on huge B-24 "Liberator" bombers, and at the successful completion of the course will be qualified for active line duty servicing and maintaining these big four-engined ships. His course of instruction will include training in aircraft maintenance fundamentals, airplane structures, hydraulic systems, propellers, instruments, engines, electrical systems, fuel systems, engine operation and inspection.

Staff Sergeant Kenneth A. Breshears, 22, formerly of Goodson, MO, and now upper turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber of the fifteenth Army Air Force in Italy, has been awarded the First Oak Leaf Cluster for the Air Medal "for meritorious achievement in aerial flight while participating in sustained operational activities against the enemy.

The decoration was presented between attacks on German-held targets in Europe in support of the Russian troops advancing in the Balkans.

Second Oak Leaf Cluster Awarded Goodson Man, 22
Staff Sergeant Kenneth A. Breshears, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Breshears of Goodson, MO, gunner-engineer on a B-24 Liberator bomber, has been awarded the second oak Leaf cluster (bronze) to the air medal, it was announced by the fifteenth Army Air Force in Italy.

In the words of the citation, Sergeant Breshears received the decoration "for meritorious achievement in aerial flight while participating in sustained operational activities against the enemy."

An employee of the Lockheed Aircraft corporation, the sergeant enlisted in the Air Forces October 22, 1942. He received training at Harlingen Field, TX and Keesler Field, MS before coming overseas to Italy.

The son of Mr. & Mrs. F. A. Breshears of Goodson, MO. Sergeant Breshears enlisted in the air Forces Oct. 22, 1942. He received training at the School of Gunnery at Harlingen, TX. A member of a Liberator bombardment group commanded by Colonel Thomas W. Steed of Etowah, TN, the Sergeant has sent two enemy fighters down in flames, an ME-109 over Turnal Severin Airfield in Austria and a JU-88 over Bad Voslau Airfield near Vienna.

It was just a few weeks ago that the Free Press reported that Sergeant Breshears had shot down his first enemy plane.

Crew of "My Gal Georgia", member of the 456th Bomb Group, Stornara, Italy, WWII, 747th Bomb Squadron:
1st. Lt. Joseph F. Leukuma, Route 3, Box 114, Dassel, MN - pilot
2nd Lt. Chester F. Zajac, 118 Prospect Ave. Bayonne, NJ - Navigator - 25
2nd Lt. Clem B. Myers, 2501 Vance St., Little Rock, AR - co-pilot
T/Sgt. Edwin T. Brownell, North Pownal, VT - Engineer - 22
S/Sgt Joseph Benko, 498 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT - Radio Operator - 24
S/Sgt Peter J. Lysek, Summerdale, AL, Nose Turret Gunner - 20
S/Sgt Kenneth A. Breshears, Goodson, MO - Upper Turret Gunner - 22
S/Sgt Ernest M. Lorelli , 323 Oakland Ave., Punxsutawney, PA - Lower Turret Gunner - 20
S/Sgt Lacy C. Geddie, 1605 N. John Street, Fayetteville, NC - Tail Turret Gunner - 21

Twice 1st. Lt. Joseph F. Leukuma, B-24 Liberator pilot, of Route 3, Box 114, Dassel, MN ordered his crew to bail out and twice he stopped the orders because the entire crew wanted to ride their plane in.

The heavy bomber, "My Gal Georgia". had been hit by two huge bursts of flak over Port San Stefano, Italy and had suffered 250 flak holes. The two inboard motors were shot out, two main tires blown, the braking system destroyed and gasoline was spraying from pierced fuel tanks. The plane had been hit before the target, but it made its run in formation.

"After the run I peeled off and away from the formation for the danger of an explosion aboard was imminent," Leukuma said. "The crew could have left but they wanted to stick."

Any plane able to take that punishment and keep on flying would not let us down at the last moment," explained 2nd. Lt. Chester F. Zajac, 25, Navigator, of 118 Prospect Ave., Bayonne, NJ. He was the chief persuader for allowing the crew to stay by the pilot.

"God only knows how Leukuma did it, but he did it."remarked 2nd. Lt. Clem B Myers, 27 co-pilot, of 2501 Vance St., Little Rock, AR. "We had only a few minutes gas left when we headed in."

Just before landing Leukuma shouted, "hang onto your hats, fellows, here we go."

The heavy bomber hit smoothly on the flat tires and wobbled to a stop halfway down the runway. Sweating crew members poured out from every opening.

Funeral service notes:
Prelude - Dino "Just Piano...Praise"
1st song - The Happy Goodman Family "The Reunion" Standing In the Presence of the King
2nd song - The Imperials - Master of Gospel "My Child, Welcome Home"
Postlude - Let Freedom ring CD, Homecoming Friends
Casket bearers: Carroll J. Payne, Rene Guerra, Russell Rayner, Dave Watson

Kenneth A. Born November 1, 1921 and passed away January 6, 2003. Preceeded in death by his wife, Faye Breshears; parents, Francis Authur Breshears and Nancy Helen Carter; stepmother, Minnie Lee Brooks Holt ; sister, Lela Veneta Breshears House; brother, Voyne Leland Breshears; sister, Orlena Mable Breshears Woodruff; brother, Forrest Wayne Breshears; son-in-law, Darwin Thomas. Survived by his daughter, Janet Breshears Thomas; sister-in-law, Maxine Barrick of Phoenix; sister-in-law, Helen Breshears of Bolivar, MO, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Services will be held at 12:00 Noon Thursday, January 9, 2003 at Laurel Land Memorial Chapel. Interment to follow at DFW National Cemetery. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Lung Association, 8150 Brookriver Dr., Dallas TX 75247

Family Members



  • Maintained by: Jan Breshears Thomas
  • Originally Created by: DonZas
  • Added: 11 Jun 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8903182
  • Jan Breshears Thomas
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kenneth Arthur Breshears (1 Nov 1921–6 Jan 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8903182, citing Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Jan Breshears Thomas (contributor 47101985) .