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Eli Baldea Jr

Military

Experiences (Memorable missions or events, impressions, etc. ) - Joined the Army Air Corp (34th Bomb Group) in 1942 in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Flew as navigator on B-24s and later, B-17s over Germany.

Was shot down on 17 October 1944 in B-17 #4338353 over Germany and spent the last 8 months of the war in Prisoner of War (POW) camp, liberated by General Patton's 14th Armored Division in April, 1945.

Stayed in the Air Force Reserve (9626th Reserve Squadron) for 19 years. Compiled and edited a quarterly newletter called 'Mendlesham Memories', which recounted the stories of the brave souls who fought in the 34th Bomb Group during WWII.

Service

Units served with

  • 34th Bomb Group

    34th Bomb Group

    Group
    After forming part of the American defence force, first on America's east coast and then on its west, the Group was assigned to the Eighth Air Force in April 1944 and entered combat in May 1944. The Group helped with the preparation for the Normandy...

  • 7th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 43-38353

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/7/44; Hunter 4/8/44; Grenier 14/8/44; Assigned 7BS/34BG Mendlesham 19/8/44; Missing in Action Cologne 17/10/44 with Capt Walt McAllister, Co-pilot: Andy Champion, Navigator: Eli Baldea, Bombardier: George Ritchie, tog-Joe Domino,...

Associated Place

  • Mendlesham

    Military site : airfield
    Built in 1942-1943, Mendlesham's first flying unit was the RAF's No. 310 Squadron - a Czechoslovakian unit. The airfield then became home to the USAAF 34th Bomb Group. This unit flew missions from Mendlesham in B-24s and B-17s.

  • Stalag VII-A

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Indiana Harbor, Indiana 28 February 1924
Prisoner of War (POW) 17 October 1944 – 1945
Died 20 August 2002
Buried Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville, Indiana

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 November 2017 04:11:08 Marianne Changes to nickname and highest rank
Sources

His birthday was incorrect.

Date Contributor Update
06 June 2017 08:27:45 Lucy May Changes to suffix, service number, biography, events and place associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Source:
MACR 9468 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / http://www.ww2pow.info/index.php?page=directory&rec=41886

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:49 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

1996 34th BG Roster/daughter / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

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