(1939-1945) WWII
London  UK
Posts: 1
Joined: 2021
How to identify a mission - family history US Air Force story
2/24/2021 6:47:01 AM
Hi all

I'm posting from a bit of a family history angle. I've been researching a first pilot in the US Eighth Air Force, one Donald Loyal Leavenworth, who flew a B-17 Flying Fortress and was forced down in Hamm, Germany, some time between January and April 1945. He was missing for several days but made it back to safety with his crew and was promoted to First Lieutenant in April that year. I know all this great detail from a newspaper article I've found, but I'm struggling to find more official documentation on it. I thought being able to isolate it down to one mission could be useful.

I have looked at the USAAF chronology records for these months, but there are tens and tens of incidents where B-17s are lost/airmen are MIA after missions in the Hamm area.

Any ideas on where I could go with my search? Beyond service records, which are frustratingly unavailable right now thanks to COVID. Really I would just like to be sure that I have gone down all avenues available to find more detail on what happened to him.

Many thanks.
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 581
Joined: 2004
How to identify a mission - family history US Air Force story
2/25/2021 12:59:22 PM
There only appears to be one person in the Fold3 database of that name, or at least only one draft card entry, for a person of that name born in March 1925. That would make him 19 at the time of this mission, which makes it unlikely he was the pilot, although he may have been a 2d Lieutenant.

I find there were missions to Hamm on 7 January, 29 January, 16 February, and 20 March 1945.

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