Calhoun County

Lt. Dean F. Eakin





Oak Leaf Cluster To Lohrville Pilot

Lohrville (THNS)—Second Lieutenant Dean F. Eakin, living west of Lohrville, 24-year-old pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress, has been awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster to the air medal.  He won the decoration for “courage, coolness and skill,” and his outstanding performance of duty during Eighth Air Force attacks on German war targets.

Before entering the Army Air Forces in October, 1941, he was in the electric and refrigeration business in Lake City.  Lt. Eakin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Eakin. He won his wings in December, 1943, at Stuttgart Field, Ark.

He is now a member of the 486th Bomb Group, a unit of the Third Bombardment Division cited by the President for its historic shuttle bombing of the Messerschmitt plant at Regensburg, Germany.

Source:  The Carroll Daily Times Herald, January 5, 1945, page 8

NOTE: The above news article was published on Jan. 5.  On January 10, 1945, Lt. Dean F. Eakin was killed.

Front (L to R): LT Dean Eakin (P), LT Daniel Casey (CP), LT Joseph Grabow (N), LT James Stewart (B).  Standing: (L to R): TSGT Wendell Holmes (FE), TSGT Fay Daniel (RO/G), SSGT Sloan Gibson (TG/A), SSGT Clinton Kimbro (WG), SSGT Tharon Eicher (BG), SSGT Joe Harris (WG). (Photo courtesy of Daniel Eakin, nephew of Dean Eakin and crew info courtesy of Keith Grabow, son of Joseph Grabow).

LT Eakin took his check ride with LT Weatherly's crew, while the rest flew their first mission under the leadership of LT Chisena.  LT Eakin was killed on mission 130 when flak entered the cabin, and striking him and penetrating his flak vest. The Copilot was able to return the aircraft to base, and landed in a heavy snow storm.  The crew completed their combat tour on that day after 26 missions.  SSGT Harris was removed from the crew and re-assigned prior to their first combat mission as a result of the AAF reducing crew sizes.

LT Eakin was originally buried at the American Cemetery at Cambridge, England.  He was returned to home, Lake City, IA, after the war.  His re-interment service was attended by sergeants Daniel, Kimbro and Gibson.

Source: 486th Bomb Group Association

Dean F. “Bobby Dean” Eakin was born Apr. 24 1920 to Walter R. and Neta Eakin. He died Jan. 10, 1945 and is buried in Lake City Cemetery, Lake City, IA.

Lt. Eakin served with the U.S. Army in World War II and was KIA.