Carroll County

S/Sgt. Donald L. Bock

 

 

 

Sgt. Donald Bock Missing in Action

Glidden (THNS) -- Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Bock of Glidden had received a telegram from the war department stating that their son, Staff Sergeant Donald L Bock is missing in action since Aug. 10 over Albania.

S/Sgt. Bock, who has been overseas since May, has been a gunner on an Italian based Liberator bomber. In a recent letter, he mentioned that he was well over the half- way mark of his missions.

His brother, Cpl. Vernon Bock, was killed in action May 29, 1943, in the Aleutian Islands.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, August 24, 1944

S-Sgt. Bock Killed By a 'Flak' Blast

Glidden (THNS) -- Staff Sergeant Donald L. Bock, reported missing in action since last August 10, was killed when an anti-aircraft shell blast tore the tail assembly from the bomber in which he was turret bomber, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Bock have been informed. The action occurred on the way back from the raid on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania.

A fellow crewman, Staff Sergeant Fred Pettit of Trenton, N.J., wrote of S/Sgt. Bock's death in a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Bock.

He said S/Sgt. Bock's body was found about a mile from where the ship crash-landed by himself and the radio man, Charles F. McKeague. They buried S/Sgt. Bock in the woods by a dried-up river bed with the help of one of the men from a nearby village. He and McKeague made a wooden cross and put it on the grave after saying a prayer.

S/Sgt. Pettit had high praise for the Glidden flier, who, he said had shot down two German planes - a Ju-88 and an Me-109.

Donald Bock entered the army air corps February 22, 1943 at Fort Crook, Neb., at the age of 19. Assigned as tail gunner on a Liberator (B-24) bomber he went overseas on May 22, 1944 arriving safely on June 6 having previously been in Brazil and Africa. Here the crew was attached to the 15th Air force.

S/Sgt. Bock had won the Air Medal and two Oak Leaf Clusters. He was 21 years old and 10 days old.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, June 5, 1945

Memorial rites For S-Sgt Bock Tuesday, June 26

Memorial services for S/Sgt. Donald Bock, 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Bock of Glidden, are to be held at 9:30 next Tuesday morning, June 26 at St. Paul's Catholic church in Scranton.

S/Sgt. Bock, previously reported missing in action since Aug. 10, 1944, has been officially declared dead by the war department,

The young airman had been awarded the Air Medal and two Oak Leaf clusters.

Attached to the 15th Air Force, he was reported killed when an anti-aircraft shell blast tore the tail assembly from the bomber in which he was the turret gunner on the way back from a raid on the Ploesti air fields in Romania.

S/Sgt. Bock entered the army air corps Feb. 22 1943, at Ft Crook, Neb. He went overseas May 22, 1944.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, June 20, 1945 (photo included)

Back row: John McConnon- navigator; Thomas Erskine- bombardier; Walter Greene- co-pilot; George R. Cloer- pilot

Front Row: Wayne Shaffner- engineer; Donald Bock- tail gunner; Charles McKeague- radio operator; Fred Petitt- ball turret gunner; William Trentzech- nose gunner

Not pictured : John Metcalf and Russell Wilkins- gunner.

This crew was shot down over Albania August 10, 1944. Thomas Erskine was not on the plane when it crashed, but is in the photo. When they were shot down, only 4 crew members were able to safely land. Metcalf, McKeague, Trentzech & Petitt.

Staff Sergeant Donald L. Bock is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery located at Impruneta, Italy.

Source: findagrave