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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Blackwell, Thomas Brooks (P2, C1, L8)headstone in memory of blackwell thomas brooks

Second Lieutenant Thomas B. Blackwell was born at Clay, Webster County, Kentucky, on 18 December 1923. He enlisted in the Band Section, Service Company, 149th Infantry, at Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky, on 3 August 1938. He was honorably discharged as a Private, 26 September 1938. He re-entered Service Company, 149th Infantry on 12 July 1939. He was inducted into federal service 17 January 1941, with the 149th Infantry at Bowling Green, Kentucky. During his time on active duty he was transferred to the U. S. Army Air Corps, eventually being assigned to the 339th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group, Heavy.

In a letter to Blackwell’s parents from the War Department, dated 22 November 1946, the following information concerning their son’s death was provided:

    . . . The Missing Air Crew Report identifies your son as a member of a crew of ten aboard a B-17 aircraft which was lost on an operational mission to Bremen, Germany on 16 December 1943. The aircraft was last sighted when it collided with another B-17 aircraft on the same mission near the Dutch Coast, in sub-zero weather. No parachutes were seen leaving either of the planes. Captured German records were searched for information regarding the two aircrafts in question, but contained no report on either of the crews. However, these records show that a number of planes were shot down on 16 December 1943 and that bodies of crew members were washed ashore along the coast of Germany and Holland subsequent to the date the aircrafts were lost but were not identifiable. In view of the above information and the lapse of time without any indication of the survival of Lieutenant Blackwell, it is only logical to conclude that he was killed in action on 16 December 1943 when his aircraft crashed into the Wadden Zee off the northwest coast of Holland, too far from the coast to be rescued. . .

His date of death is officially listed as 16 December 1943. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing, Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.

There is a memorial to him on his parents headstone located in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dixon, Webster County, Kentucky.

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273

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