BENNETT, HUGH DOUGLAS, First Lieutenant, # 0-789227, USAAF
Hugh D. Bennett was born 25 April 1915 to Edward A Bennett (1891-1973) and Nettie Jeanette (Whisenant) Bennett (1893-1967). Siblings included Guy E. Bennett (1911-1990), Charles Eugene Bennett (1913-1993), Edward Arthur Bennett, Jr., (1919-1982) and Josephine Bennet (1925- ).
He registered for the WW II draft, giving his employment as the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (student). He described himself as 5’9”, 145 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted as an aviation cadet on 8 October 1941 at Montgomery, Alabama, with four years of college. After training as a navigator, he received his commission and wings. The bomber and crew were assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 436th Bombardment Squadron. He was the navigator. It was last sighted by 1stLt Robert J. Clarke, 0-431388, 1stLt Robert G. Brittenbach, 0-659652, and 1stLt Henry W. Gilmer, Jr., 0-440853. 1stLt Clarke wrote, “It was last seen in formation with five other bombers entering a cloud bank. After fifteen minutes, the formation broke into the clear and only five aircraft could be accounted for. After another fifteen minutes, a crew hear, “Any B-24D for Help.” The call was answered but received no reply. An enemy fighter, type I45 (Kawasaki Toryu, for “Dragon Slayer,” allied name “Nick”), made an attack on a plane in the formation (not the missing bomber) and this was included to show there were enemy aircraft nearby.” Two search missions were flown. Called off because of poor weather. The bomber did not emerge from clouds with the other five on the mission. Enemy fighters were seen in the area; one attacked one of the B-24s. The bomber was not found. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. The family placed a Veteran marker in the Warrior Cemetery, Warrior, Alabama.
Brother Edward A. Bennett, Jr., born 22 April 1919, served in the USAF during WW II and the beginning of the Korean War; he enlisted 23 October 1941 and was honorably discharged 11 October 1945. He was recalled 10 March 1951 and honorable discharged 15 October 1952. He died 1 June 1982, in Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama.