T/Sgt John S. Klisenbauer
B-24 Engineer / Top Turret Gunner
98th Bombardment Group - 344th Bombardment Squadron - 47 Bomb Wing - 15th Air Force
Lecce Airfield, Italy - 24 August 1944 to 16 March 1945


John Klisenbauer entered service on 22 April 1943. After completing Flight Engineer training the crew joined up and received combat training at several locations in the US. In early August 1944 they flew their B-24L to Lecce Airfield , Italy. The crew had trained together in all aspects of B-24 combat operations and tactics and arrived on base fully qualified and ready to destroy the Nazi. They were designated crew #108. All bomber crews are named after the pilot in command of the team and the aircraft. This crew is known as the "DeBottis" crew on all schedules and paperwork.

The "DeBottis" B-24 crew

Pilot - Lt. Frank E. DeBottis
Co-Pilot - Lt. Donald G. Stubbs
Naigator - Lt. Ken Oestreicher
Bombardier - Lt. Ted L. Seaman
Engineer/Top Turret Gun - Sgt. John S. Klisenbauer
Radio Operator - Cpl Thomas J. Crehan
Right Waist Gun - Cpl Richard P. Marsden
Left Waist Gun - Cpl Don J. Burkett
Tail Gun - Cpl Raymond A. Dukette
Ball Turret - Cpl Frank Voci


Capt Frank E. Debottis and Lt Donald G. Stubbs were killed leading a mission with another 344th Bombardment Squadron crew on 12 November 1944. Witness report. Capt DeBottis' brother returned to the crash site in Italy 12 years later and recovered partial remains of six of the crew of 12. Read the story. The remaining eight members of the original crew survived the war and returned home in June 1945.


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