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427th Aageson Crew
Donald C. Aageson, Pilot
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DONALD C. AAGESON CREW - 427th BS
(Assigned 427BS: 11 November 1944)

1Lt Donald C. Aageson (P), 1Lt Preston W. McKeon (CP)(WIA)(KIS),
2Lt Karl Minnis (N)(POW)

S/Sgt Paul A. Gray (TOG)(WIA), T/Sgt Paul R. Ellis (E),
T/Sgt Clinton A. Bledsoe (R), S/Sgt Reuben J. Calderon (BTG),
S/Sgt Louis F. Vuksinich (WG), Sgt Henry E. Lindeman (TG)

Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission

Twenty-nine credited combat missions of 1Lt Donald C. Aageson:
As Combat Crew Pilot: Seventeen missions - 277 (20 Nov 44), 278, 279, 281, 282, 283, 285, 286, 287, 288, 291, 295, 298A, 298B, 300 (AS), 302, 303 (17 January 1945)
As Lead Crew CoPilot or Pilot: Twelve missions - 309 (29 Jan 1945), 310, 311, 317, 321, 326, 330, 334, 343, 351, 363, 364 (25 April 1945)
(AS) - Credited Abortive Sortie - no bombs dropped. For mission dates and targets see the missions list.

Crew Notes:

  • 1Lt Donald C. Aageson (P) - All mission flown as a 1st Pilot (277 thru 303), Lead Crew CoPilot (309, 317, 343, 351) or Lead Crew Pilot (310, 311, 321, 326, 330, 334, 363, 364). Combat tour completed on 25 April 1945. Transferred to the Lead Crew 359th BS for mission 363 & 364.
  • 1Lt Preston W. McKeon (CP)(WIA) - Thirteen missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 298A, 311, 321 & 363). Seven missions as CoPilot with other Pilots (275, 300, 303, 350, 353, 354, 357, 358 & 361). Five missions as a Lead Crew Tail Gunner/Observer (294, 299, 302, 306 & 309). Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 5 February 1945. Flew five missions as 1st Pilot (301, 310, 315, 316, 322). Combat tour completed. Last mission on 20 April 1945. Was wounded on mission 311, 3 February 1945 with flak injuries on his arm and leg. Attended fighter school after his 303rd BG(H) combat tour and was killed in a training accident.
  • 2Lt Karl Minnis (N)(POW) - Seventeen missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 283, 286 thru 303 and 311). Three missions with other Pilots (301, 307 & 316). Became a POW on mission 316, 16 February 1945, to Landendeer, Germany, 1Lt Robert M. Wertz Pilot.
  • S/Sgt Paul A. Gray (TOG)(WIA) - Thirteen missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 286, 288, 291, 295, 298A, 300). Five missions with other Pilots (287, 298B, 303, 304, 306). Seriously wounded on mission 306, 22 January 1945 to Sterkrade, Germany and hospitalized in a Ghent, Belgium, hospital after an emergency landing at field B-61 at Beauvis/Tille, France, 1Lt Grafton N. Smith Pilot.
  • T/Sgt Paul R. Ellis (E) - Twenty-Eight missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 303 and 310 thru 374). One missions with another Pilot (333). Combat tour completed on 25 April 1945.
  • T/Sgt Clinton A. Bledsoe (R) - Twenty-Six missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 303 and 310 thru 351). One mission with another Pilot (363). Combat tour completed on 20 April 1945.
  • S/Sgt Reuben J. Calderon (BTG) - Twenty missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 311 & 351). Sixteen missions as an Engineer/Top Turret Gunner with other Pilots (317, 318, 321, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 334, 335, 337, 338, 339, 342, 345, 357). Combat tour completed on 4 April 1945).
  • S/Sgt Louis F. Vuksinich (WG) - Eighteen missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 288, 302, 303, 310, 311, 317, 334, 343 & 351). Two missions with other Pilots (321 & 364). Last mission on 25 April 1945.
  • Sgt Henry E. Lindeman (TG) - Twenty-two missions with 1Lt Aageson (277 thru 303, 310 & 311 as Tail Gunner and 317, 321 & 330 as a Waist Gunner). Five missions with other Pilots (325, 326, 333, 334 & 337). Last mission on 15 March 1945 where 2Lt Thomas W. Richardson (P) landed his damaged B-17 at Boernerowo (Okecie Airfield) near Warsaw, Poland. See the crash photo here.

[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]