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S/SGT  Delton L. KING

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG

Delton King with his crew. Delton was very shy about taking a photo 

Delton Kings Memoribilia

S/Sgt Delton King with his Wife Avis after returning to States from escaping. 

Delton King Memorial 

Delton King with his wife Avis. 

SERIAL #: 18188224 STATUS: EVA
MACR: 01394 CR: 01394

Comments1: 26 NOV 43 BREMEN (EAC - FIRE)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Earl "Flakked Up Willie" Williams     P CPT        sn# O-742919
2nd Lt Jean B.Pitner                               CP EVADEE 26/11/43 BREMEN
2nd Lt Arno E.Plischke                          NAV EVADEE 26/11/43 BREMEN
2nd Lt Arthur G.Bodei                          BOM POW      26/11/43 BREMEN
 T/Sgt Max S.Newman                        ROG KIA         26/11/43 BREMEN
 T/Sgt Andrew F.Hathaway                  TTE EVADEE 26/11/43 BREMEN
 S/Sgt George E.Jones                         BTG  KIA       26/11/43 BREMEN
 S/Sgt Leo J.Bianchi                            LWG POW      26/11/43 BREMEN
 S/Sgt Delton L.King                            RWG EVADEE 26/11/43 BREMEN
 S/Sgt Carl G. Glasmeier                        TG POW      26/11/43 BREMEN

349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, apparently joined the 100th Group in Nov 1943 as this is believed to be their first mission. According to Glasmeier (31/3/90) Lt George W.Ford who had arrived at the 100th with his own crew on 12/9/43 was pilot of the above crew on 26/11/43 and became a POW.  After 26 Nov 43 mission, Lt Williams was assigned to the Crew of Lt John T. Griffin.  

2ND LT WILLIAMS FLEW AS CP ON THE JANSSEN CREW ON 3 MARCH 44 AND WAS MOST LIKELY WITH THEM ON 4 MARCH 44 WHEN THEY COMPLETED THEIR 25TH MISSION.  THE TARGET WAS BERLIN.  LT WILLIAMS WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO THE 351ST BS AFTER 26 NOV 43  AND WAS STILL ON BASE AS OF JULY 2, 1944.  HE WOULD GO ON TO BECOME A CAPT. AND COMPLETE HIS TOUR.  HE FLEW AS CP ON LT JOHN GRIFFIN CREW.  


CREW on 26 NOV 43 mission to BREMEN

2ND LT GEORGE W. FORD             P POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT JEAN B. PITNER              CP EVA   26 NOV 43 BREMEN (see lettter below)
2ND LT ARNO E. PLISCHKE        NAV EVA  26 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT ARTHUR G. BODEI        BOM POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
T/SGT MAX S. NEWMAN          ROG KIA   26 NOV 43 BREMEN
T/SGT ANDREW F. HATHAWAY TTE EVA  26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT GEORGE E. JONES         BTG KIA    26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT LEO J. BIANCHI             LWG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT DELTON L. KING            RWG EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT CARL G. GLASMEIER      TG POW   26 NOV 43 BREMEN

349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, apparently joined the 100th Group in Nov 1943 as this is believed to be their first mission.  MACR # 1394, Microfiche # 464, A/C # 42-31215

EYEWITNESS: A/C # 215 was hit in # 2 engine when two FW 190s attacked the low squadron at 1045 hrs. Fell out of formation and dived for cloud cover.  E/A followed but P-47s came to the rescue.  A/C was seen from time to time flying below the formation.  At 1048 hrs one chute was seen and at 1103 hrs nine more chutes were seen. At 1105 hrs it hit the ground and exploded, near 49 32N and 02 00E.  During the last few minutes of flight fire spread over the entire left wing.

That Pitner % Plischke were successful evadees is evidenced by signing a report to the Adjutent General's office dated 5 Feb 44.  This same report indicates Andrew Hathaway also returned to duty also evading. The record for Denton King was an evadee rather than a POW.

This is remains some difficulty in determining G.W Ford's role with this crew.  (Letter to Jim Brown from Jean Pitner regarding this matter follows..

                                            

Dear Jim: ( 26 November 1990)

Forty seven years ago today, I was shot down.  Twenty seven days before that I signed in at the 100th. First, let me answer your specific question regarding Earl Williams and George Ford.  Earl was first pilot on my crew. I met him, as well as my navigator and bombardiar, at Walla Walla, Washington.  Earl was an "old timer".  He had been an enlisted radio operator in Hawaii before the peacetime draft and during the attack of December 7, 1941.  When I met him he was a 1st Lt., married and no children.  The rest of us had just graduated from flying schools; in my case "travel time" from Blackland AAB, Waco, Texas, to Moses Lake, Washington, then on to Walla Walla.

Earl and I flew a couple of local flights after we arrived at the 100th.  He, as well as all of the crew (except me), flew 
combat missions shortly after we arrived at the 100th. each of them flew with different crews at different times as substitutes on various crews

Our crew was scheduled to fly together for the first time on 26 November 1943.  I was not included.  An experienced multi missioned pilot would "check out the crew and sign off Earl as combat ready.  I do not know what happened during the night to change the plans, but I was awakened early in the morning and told that I would fly and Earl would not.  Earl was as surprised as I.

I met George Ford at briefing.  He was a captain, said very little, mentioned that he had flown fourteen (I think) missions. He also told me that this was a good starting mission for me (my first) and that it would be a "piece of cake" and a "milk run". The last time I saw George was as we were bailing out. I never believed, nor was I told, that George was a "new crew member" who would continue to fly with us.  I thought he was sort of a "check ride" for a new crew.  So much for George now back to Earl. The last time I saw Earl was when he came to London to make a personal identification of me for Army Intelligence. I recall that Earl had changed.  I thought he was "flak happy", and for a little while I thought he either did not know me, or would not make the identification.  He did, but the intelligence officers weren't satisfied.  Intelligence demanded two other officers from the 100th to come and make the identification. To shorten this phase, Intelligence had to accept Earl's ID because there were no officers in the 100th who knew me!
 

I haven't said anything about my escape from France, and that is not an oversight.  There are two reasons: 
 (1)  It has been proven that the longer the time from the combat experience, the greater the distortion in the way 
the person describes that experience.  If the action is told frequently, that too will alter the facts.  Often truth becomes fantasy. 
 Most are unaware of what has happened and actually believe they are recalling the combat experience exactly as it happened. 

 (2) Even if I could recount my escape in accurate detail, there is no way that I can separate a part from the whole.  I am certain 
that it would be effortless for me to write hundreds of pages, single spaced with narrow margins, and probably leave out 
something.  Even worse, I probably would exaggerate the facts.  It would be nothing but historical fiction at best.

Now you can understand why I opened this letter with those two observations, especially the forty seven years remark. 
 Come to think of it, I wonder what kind of a story I would tell about my last combat flying   three years in Vietnam, including all 
campaigns of the entire conflict?  This time I was shot up frequently, but not shot down.

I think that you have a difficult task before you in your research.  I suspect that time is running out.  Oddly, in my 33 
years of service, I've met only one person who was in the 100th.  I was lecturing at Brown University, Providence, RI, in 
the Fall of 1964, when I met a man named Brown.  He told me that he had been the historian of the 100th.  Coincidence? We talked 
at length, but we were not at the 100th at the same time.

I congratulate you on the work you are doing and hope you can bring the account to an end soon.  I know from personal 
experience how frustrating, tiring, and sometimes expensive research can be, especially oral and first person.  I know, 
too, the great satisfaction of completion.  I hope you experience that soon.

                                         Sincerely Yours,



                                          Jean Pitner

MEMO 2:

THE MISSION I WALKED AWAY FROM
By Delton King, Right Waist Gunner, 349th Squadron and Evadee 
and Michael Faley, 100thBG Group Historian and Photo Archivist
Editor’s Note: Delton King was recently interviewed by Michael Faley.. In the following article all quotes are attributable to 
Delton from this interview unless otherwise stated. 
ORIGINAL CREW
Earl Williams PILOT
Jean B.Pitner CO-PILOT
Arno E.Plischke NAVIGATOR
Arthur G.Bodei BOMBARDIER
Max S.Newman RADIO OPERATOR/GUNNER 
Andrew F.Hathaway TOP TURRET ENGINEER
George E.Jones BALL TURRET GUNNER
Leo J.Bianchi LEFT WAIST GUNNER 
Delton L. King RIGHT WAIST GUNNER
Carl G. Glasmeier TAIL GUNNER 
This was to be Delton King’s and the Earl Williams crew’s first combat mission. They arrived in England in late October 1943 and 
were assigned to the 100th Bomb Group in early November. The crew spent the next few weeks flying orientation missions and some 
of the officers flew combat missions with experienced crews, including co-pilot Jean Pitner. On the morning of November 26, 1943, 
the Charge of Quarters woke up the Williams crew; today they would fly their first combat mission. As they ate breakfast and headed 
to briefing, Delton expressed one inner emotion: FEAR! An emotion every airman has going on a mission. The unknown! The 
targets today would be Paris and Bremen, with the Williams crew assigned to attack the rail yards at Paris. 
At briefing the Earl Williams crew would get a surprise, no Earl Williams! Instead, the crew would be flying their first mission 
with an experienced combat pilot, Lt George Ford. Where was our pilot, the guy we trained with all these months and flew with
overseas? It was thought by the “higher ups” that it would be good for new crews to fly their first missions with an experienced 
pilot, but “luck of the draw” plays no favorites in combat.
“I met George Ford at briefing. He said very little, mentioned that he had flown fourteen (I think) missions. He also told me that this 
was a good starting mission for me (my first) and that it would be a ‘piece of cake’ and a ‘milk run‘. The last time I saw George was
as we were bailing out“.... Lt Jean Pitner, co-pilot
The crew gathered their equipment, made their way to the 349th hardstands and boarded B-17G 42-31215 XR-H. Delton King took 
his position at the right waist window, stowed his stuff and checked his 50cal guns. This was it! Our engines started coughing and
turning over. From the tower, the green flare, the mission was on. Was the rumble in my stomach from the engines or the fear, maybe 
a bit of both. Take off and forming up was uneventful as we headed in formation towards the continent at 23,000 feet.
“I was scared, they had two missions that day, one went to Germany, the other went to Paris for the rail yards. We went to Paris but 
before we got over that far, the Germans had shot us down. We were in the low squadron, and were hit by FW-190s from the 
front”.... Delton King
EYEWITNESS REPORT: A/C # 215 was hit in # 2 engine when two FW 190s attacked the low squadron at 1045 hrs. Fell out of 
formation and dived for cloud cover. E/A followed but P-47s came to the rescue. A/C was seen from time to time flying below the
formation. At 1048 hrs one chute was seen and at 1103 hrs nine more chutes were seen. At 1105 hrs it hit the ground and exploded, 
near 49 32N and 02 00E. During the last few minutes of flight fire spread over the entire left wing.
When did Delton know they were in trouble? “When the airplane started blowing up (he laughs) , 20mm were exploding on the left 
wing and shrapnel had entered the plane injuring the radio operator (Max Newman who would die from his wounds) and another 
20mm hit the ball turret gunner (George Jones). It tore his leg off and he died. I was wounded between the shoulder blades. When 
the 20mm’sexploded, it sent all those fragments up into the wing, the engines were on fire on the left side and one of the engines was 
smoking on the right side, and between the pilot and the tail all the control cables were shot out. At that point the pilot said over the 
intercom, ‘BAIL OUT!’
“I was always curious about bailing out so when it was time to leave the ship, the guys said I could go first! So I sat down in the 
door and the elevator was too close behind , and I somersaulted out the door. It was so hot up there that I didn’t pull my ripcord until  got near the ground... And I pulled my ripcord and it looked like I was going to land in a tree, so I started pulling on my lines to 
move away from the tree but by doing that, more air escaped from my canopy. The more air that got out the faster I went down! I 
ended up landing flat on my back, I had really hit it hard. So I laid there for a few minutes to see if I was all half way together, and 
after finding out I was, I jumped up, got my parachute and took it to a marsh and put it in the water and covered it up with leaves so 
you could not see it anymore.
“I had landed by myself, so I was on my own now. I headed up half way between the rail tracks and the road where there were some 
trees. I stayed up there for about nine hours watching patrol cars going by on the highway while an engine with troops on it riding 
back and forth on the railroad looking for me and my crew. At 5pm we got snow and they could not find my parachute or tracks so 
they got tired of looking for me.
“That night I went towards the small city of Beauvais, and I met a guy (farmer) who had been plowing all day and knew what had 
happened and I went up to him and showed him my book with French sayings and communicated with hand signs that I was hungry 
and tired. As I was trying my best to communicate, the door to house we were in front of suddenly opened up in a bright flash of 
light. What a sight I must have presented in my flight suite and the occupants said, ‘Come in, come in, come in’. After a short 
conversation between the farmer and the occupants, the farmer left for his ranch. The occupants gave me civilian clothes to change 
into and I now looked like a regular Frenchman before I got out of there. Another guy came by and I was directed to go with him to 
hide/sleep at his house. I stayed there for three nights but on the second night, one of the officers from my crew, the copilot, showed 
up and didn’t want to share the nice comfortable bed with an enlisted man.. ‘I said that‘s alright, I’m gonna sleep on the bed, and 
you can sleep where you want‘.
“The French were trying to make sure we were actually American airmen on the run verses Gestapo plants. Once they were sure we 
knew each other, then they split us up and sent me over to be a new helper at a sawmill and I stayed there till after Christmas. Here 
I am hiding in this sawmill and just outside are railroad tracks and German troops coming by every night, relieving themselves on the 
walls outside while I am hiding inside. The underground decided it was getting too dangerous and needed to get me and the other 
flyers they were hiding out of there.”
In Delton King’s Escape and Evasion Report, he states that during this time, he was hiding along with his crew’s co-pilot Lt Jean 
Pitner and navigator Lt Plischke, along with F/O Trent (from Lt Russell Helstrom crew), S/Sgt John Lowther and 2nd Lt Clarence 
Willingham from other crews.
“We were transported by car to Paris and then by train to Lyon. We were to spend two months in Lyon. It was at this point I was 
separated from my two crew members who would escape to Spain. While my escape was being planned, the Gestapo did a surprise
raid of the French border between Spain and France and captured a large amount of downed Allied flyers trying to cross over into 
Spain. This prompted them to double the border patrol. The French decided my best option would be to head for Geneva, Switzerland 
instead of Spain. There was a train from France to Geneva so on the night of February 28, 1944. I crossed the border into 
Switzerland by walking the railroad tracks. I walked about 2-3 miles on the tracks into Switzerland and saw a cafe and entered. The 
cafe owner called the Swiss Guard and they were angry because I had walked three miles into Switzerland without being stopped!
“I was transported to Geneva and was given a physical. I was cold, hungry, tired and they found pieces of shrapnel still in my shoulder 
blades that had not been dug out. I knew I had been hit during the air battle, but did not think it was that bad. I wound up being 
shipped to “Camp Maloney” in Adelboden, a ski resort in the mountains that was named after the first American to die in Switzerland 
[also from the 100th Bomb Group, Joseph Maloney, BTG on Capt Sam Turner’s crew killed in Switzerland Aug 17, 1943]. I would 
spend the next months in this camp and never tried to ski, taking no chances after coming this far.”
 
The final chapter in Delton King’s evasion story needs some clarification from records not yet located. From the official Escape and 
Evasion Report dated September 13, 1944, Delton was transferred from internment camp to Annecy, France (now under Allied 
control) where he was interrogated by Military Intelligence. Delton had been interviewed previously in Bern, Switzerland by Col 
Harris of the American Legation. A few days later, a C-47 transport plane flew Delton back to England. In February 2017 Delton 
attended his FIRST 100thBG reunion event in Palm Springs, CA. Welcome home, Delton!
Fate of Crew on 26 NOV 43 Mission to Paris 
George W. Ford - Pilot POW 
Jean B.Pitner - Co-Pilot EVADEE
Arno E.Plischke - Navigator EVADEE
Arthur G.Bodei - Bombardier POW
Max S.Newman - Radio/Gunner KIA 
Andrew Hathaway - TT Engineer EVADEE
George E.Jones - BT Gunner KIA
Leo J.Bianchi - LW Gunner POW 
Delton L. King - RW Gunner EVADEE
Carl G. Glasmeier - Tail Gunner POW
Additional information used was from Delton King’s Escape & Evasion Report and the 100th Bomb Group Website

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Bremen DATE: 1943-11-26  
AIRCRAFT: (42-31215) CAUSE: EAC -FIRE  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Delton King wifh David Webster

Delton King 

Joy Schilling (Daughter) Delton King, Michael Faley, Joe O’Leary

Memorial for Delton King 

Display at Delton King Memorial 

Photo Memorial to Delton King 

This is a story many of you did not know at our reunion. Delton King was in the ICU at the Veterans Hospital on Saturday morning and pretty much busted out to be at the 100th Bomb Group mini reunion in Palm Springs. K. Joy Schilling said Delton would not miss the reunion.  Thanks Joy.  Joy needs some advice and help with the VA and services to help Delton.  If you can point here to right people/organizations, she would be very thankful. 

Breaking this guy out of here in the morning for the 100th Bomb Group Reunion in Palm Springs! He is so happy that he gets to go - and the staff have been so kind. I love that they’re supporting him attending this event! Feeling thankful ♥️

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 2812