Dana M. Lenkeit

2nd Lt    0-803232    613th
1917 - 1944

Pilot aboard 42-30855 (Ol' Massa)


Marietta National cemetery, Marietta, Georgia, USA
Plot : Q - 44A.

     Dana was born Sep 8, 1917, in Alabama.
     In Jun 2, 1942 he enlisted to the Air Corps.

     In 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG.
     His last mission, May 8, 1944, Target: Berlin, after dropping bombs the plane was hit by flak.
     Just 100 miles before the border of the Netherlands the bottom part of plane blew off.

     He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal.

     In 1944, when Dana died he was 26

Mission to Berlin, germany, Crashed near Balkum, Germany

Back Row : Morris Harp - James Fahnstock - Arnold Carpenter - Stephen Kloiber - Victor Street - Dale Gregory
Front Row : Dene Gober - Jim Whiting - Dana M. Lenkeit - James Irwin

Ol' Massa landing at his base in Deenethorpe, England after a bombing raid on Wilhelmshaven, Germany , Feb 3 1944

     Story told by Edward J. Rice, Left Waist Gunner.

     Our mission proceeded as usual.

     You never can tell what might happen when approaching the enemy coast.
     We are flying up front on this one, little flak as we cross the coast.


     As we got closer to Berlin, the flak was heavier, we are on the bomb run now.

     Bomb bay doors are open, Bombs away !.

     Damn that Flak, won't it ever stop... oh oh.... we got some in the wrong place again, No 4 engine.

     We move out of the flak and start to breathe easier.
     Flying a little low and offside now as we have trouble keeping up.
     This could be bad...

     About 100 miles from Holland it happens, so close to home yet so far.
     A loud , hard, explosion toward the front of our plane.
     The plane was flying level as die, but the whole tail was gone.
     Just a great big hole looking out at the sky.
     The blast blew everything toward the front of the plane, the plane can't fly this way.
     I ran straight out into space thru the open fuselage, the plane was diving straight down.
     It nosed into the ground and exploded, fire and smoke shot skyward.

     What exactly happened to Dana isn't sure, he jumped and was found dead and buried at the Achmer
     cemetery grave no 75.
     Later he was re buried at Margraten cemetery, Netherlands and in 1949 he got his final resting place
     at the cemetery of Marietta, Georgia.


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