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DeWitt Talmadge Bell Jr

Military

On the support mission to Frankfurt, Germany of 20 March 1944 in P-47D #42-75553, the 361st Squadron encountered extremely adverse weather and the mission was abandoned. Upon letting down in the Brussels, Belgium area, Lt. Bell and his leader, Capt. Porter, started a strafing pass on an airfield. The last seen of Lt. Bell was at the start of the pass. Capt. Porter was shot down and made a prisoner by the Germans, who informed him that Lt. Bell went down. Missing In Action (MIA) 20 March 1944; changed to "Determined Dead" on 28 December 1944. MACR 3398. Killed In Action (KIA).

Service

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. ...

  • 356th Fighter Group

    356th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 356th Fighter Group flew 413 missions between 15 October 1943 and 7 May 1945 and suffered the highest ratio of losses to enemy aircraft claims of any Eighth Air Force Group. This gave the Group the reputation of being the 'hard luck' outfit. The...

  • 361st Fighter Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-75553

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47 42-75553 was on a bomber escort mission to Frankfurt, Germany on 20 March 1944. Shot down strafing airfield after mission had to be abandoned due to bad weather, hit by return fire. Pilot Dewitt T. Bell Killed In Action (KIA). Missing Air Crew...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force FO 275 BOMBER ESCORT

    20 March 1944
    A force of 594 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to escort heavy bombers attacking at Frankfurt and Mannheim, Germany. Dispatch summary follows: ...

Associated Place

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Alabama, USA 14 November 1920

Son of DeWitt T. and Julia J. Bell.

Lived in Georgia, USA 1942
Enlisted Cochran Field Rd, Macon, GA 31216, USA 13 November 1942

Cochran Field
Macon
Georgia
USA

Crashed Spence Airport-MUL, Mitchell Blvd, Moultrie, GA 31788, USA 6 July 1943

Landing Accident Ground Loop Spence AAF, GA Cat 3 damage 2Lt Dewitt T Bell, 6-Jul-43.

AT-6B 41-17395 - 442 SEFTS.

Based Martlesham Heath 26 January 1944 – 20 March 1944

Assigned to 361FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF.

Died 9 miles NE Brussels, Belgium 20 March 1944

Shot down in P-47 42-75553 on support mission to Frankfurt. Strafing airfield hit by return fire.

Buried Evere, Belgium 24 March 1944

Brussels Evere Cemetery, Honor Plot

Buried Macon, GA, USA 1949

after the war, his remains were brought back to the US. DeWitt Bell rests at the Macon Memorial Park in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 September 2020 07:19:57 ED-BB Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated Media and chose key image

Date Contributor Update
12 September 2020 07:09:38 ED-BB Changes to biography, events and mission associations
Sources

MACR 3398
1941-1949 Headstone Applications
German record KUJ-714 at https://catalog.archives.gov/id/131494788 (NARA)

Date Contributor Update
25 October 2016 13:24:59 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28637218
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=117502662
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbapi.asp?Pilot=Bell%2C+DeWitt&Su...

Date Contributor Update
25 October 2016 11:52:06 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography and events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28637218
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=117502662

Date Contributor Update
25 October 2016 09:53:31 Al_Skiff Changes to suffix, service number, role, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28637218
https://www.fold3.com/page/85221615_dewitt_t%20bell%20jr/details/

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:11 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

356 FG Assoc data, MACR 3398, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3398 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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