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Bert W Stimmel


Bert was an actor, dancer, choreographer and theatre director. During the Second World War,
he flew 30 missions as a B-17 radio operator with the 401st Bomb Group. A graduate of Yale University, Bert returned to Europe to work on theatre productions in London’s West End, before forming his own dance company. He lived for 30 years in the Middle East, much of the time spent with the Caracalla Dance Theatre in Beirut. This city was for many years at the heart of a bitter civil war. ‘I flew in the Second World War and my B-17 crashed in the North Sea, so I’ve no problem with danger here,’ he said.

RTD. Shot down 4 January 1944 in B-17 #42-31089 'Carolyne. ' Target Kiel, Germany. Plane ditched in North Sea after both engines on left side stopped.

Read the full article about the Caracalla Dance Theatre here:


Units served with

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 612th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-31089 Carolyne

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/9/43; Gt Falls 4/10/43; Scott 28/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-M] Deenethorpe 16/11/43; Missing in Action Kiel 4/1/44 with Capt Bill Garland, Co-pilot: Maj Malcolm Martin (Sq. CO), Navigator: Ed Nolte, Flight engineer/top turret...

Associated Place

  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...

  • American Air Museum

    Other location


Event Location Date
Born Toledo, Ohio
Lived in Beirut, Lebanon


Date Contributor Update
02 March 2018 13:04:49 Lucy May Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2018 12:41:05 Lucy May Changes to biography and events

American Air Museum caption panel that accompanies Bert Stimmel's display in the 'Somewhere in England' gallery of the AAM.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:33 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 6468, Losses of 8th & 9th Air Forces,