Leonard L. Deniston was born in 1924 in White Pine, Tennessee. He served in the 860th Bomber Squadron, 493rd Bomber Group, Heavy, as a Staff Sergeant and Tail Gunner on the B-17 #43-38568 “Little Davey II” during World War II. He was Killed in Action on February 20, 1945, when his plane crashed at Ramsholt, England.

That day, the Little Davey II took off from Debach Airfield at 9.15 a.m. heading for Nuremberg, Germany. Almost immediately after take-off, the no. 3 engine caught fire. The pilot, 1st Lt. Frederick E Stindt, feathered the prop and extinguished the fire, but the engine fire quickly re-established, and the right-wing also began to burn. His best hope was to ditch the plane in shallow water in the River Deben. He managed to follow the River Deben searching for somewhere suitable, which turned out to be a point almost opposite the quay at Ramsholt, or so he thought. Unfortunately, the waters were deeper than he imagined, and the plane immediately sank in eighteen feet of water. Only the pilot and Technical Sergeant Jewel K. Haynes, the top turret gunner, survived.

Leonard Deniston picture taken in 1944 at Ardmore Airforce Base, Oklahoma.

Source of information: www.americanairmuseum.com

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 15 January 1924
  • Date of death: 20 February 1945
  • County: Jefferson
  • Hometown: White Pine, Tennessee
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 860th Bomber Squadron, 493rd Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Air War in Europe
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: The Pines, White Pine Tennessee
  • Sponsored by: Patricia Helton

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