John Martin Kirkland was born on 21 September 1920 at Augusta, Georgia to Dixon Fay Kirkland and Mary Lou Martin.
Died 18 April 1944

Staff Sergeant, Aviation Cadet
94th Bomber Group, 410th Bomber Squadron, 8th Air Force

Aircraft B-17G with serial number 42-31650 was on an bombing mission to Barnewitz. This aircraft was a member of the lead Group of a Combat Wing. All A/C were on the bomb run flying at 25,000 feet. Weather was clear with no undercast as the bomb run was begun. At altitude, clouds were encountered as the bomb run progressed. Clouds became solid so the Group began descent so as to get under them. Just as the Group emerged from the upper clouds and leveled off, flying at 23,000 feet, the Group was attacked by a close formation of about 40-70 S/E enemy aircraft which were practically directly on top of the formation. Two passes were made on this group, both being head-on in close formation and well pressed. About 80 enemy aircraft were in the formation making the second attack. This aircraft dropped out of the formation and was last seen in the target area. An aircraft, believed to be this one, was observed smoking in an area about 20 miles NNE of Berlin. Two parachutes were observed. T/Sgt Martin and Lt Christenson were blown out of the aircraft before the aircraft disintegrated. One of the crewmembers was told in the POW Camp that the plane was rammed by an ME-109 German Fighter, knocking their right wing off and the plane went into a flat spin. He believes that S/Sgt King couldn´t have gotten out of the plane because of the spin. The aircraft crashed at Berge, 6 km West of Nauen.

S/Sgt King was initially buried at the county cemetery Berge near Nauen on 24 April 1944. He is now buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Saint Louis, Missouri together with 2nd Lt Paul T. Chance, S/Sgt Harold Davis, S/Sgt Thomas G. Milio, T/Sgt Rene W. Darby, T/Sgt John G. Grant, Capt John R. McMeekin and S/Sgt Stanley G. Workman.

Crew members
Pilot, 1st Lt John R. McMeekin
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Paul T. Chance
Navigator, 2nd Lt Robert D. Christenson
Nose Gunner, T/Sgt John G. Grant
Radio Operator, T/Sgt Clarence E. Martin
Ball Turret Gunner, S/Sgt Stanley G. Workman
Tail Turret Gunner, T/Sgt Rene W. Darby
Tail Gunner, S/Sgt Thomas G. Milio
Right Waist Gunner, S/Sgt Harold Davis
Left Waist Gunner, S/Sgt John M. Kirkland

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  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 21 September 1920
  • Date of death: 18 April 1944
  • County: Hamilton
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 94th Bomber Group, 410th Bomber Squadron
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar X, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor John M. Kirkland

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