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John D Abrell


Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 42-97569. Killed in Action (KIA).
Killed instantly when a 20mm shell from an attacking fighter exploded inside the cockpit.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 551st Bomb Squadron


  • 42-97569

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 23/12/43; Salt Lake City 27/12/43; 1SAG Langley 12/1/44; Assigned 94BG Rougham 3/2/44; transferred 413BS/96BG [MZ-M] Snetterton 4/2/44; Missing in Action Brandenburg 18/4/44 with John Abrell (Killed in Action) + 385BG crew; Navigator:...


Event Location Date
Born Bloomington, Illinois, USA 11 January 1923
Killed in Action (KIA) Germany 18 April 1944

Listed on the Tablet of the Missing.


Date Contributor Update
13 May 2020 13:55:20 Andycole0 Changes to biography, awards, events and unit associations

American Battle Monument's Commission
Find a Grave.
Missing aircraft report 42-97569

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 14:51:37 general ira snapsorter Changes to service number, highest rank, biography, events and unit associations

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
- MACR 4161

Additional details from

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:49 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 4161 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database