He enlisted in the USAAF on 6 October 1942. He completed training as a bombardier on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his appointment as a Flight Officer and his wings. On 13 November 1943. He was sent overseas through India to China on about 10 July 1944. He was overseas July 1943 to January 1944 and July 1944 to his death. On 9 August 1944 a B-24J, # 44-40822, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 425th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, on a mission to lay mines in Hong Kong Harbor. This B-24 and another were shot down and crashed into the harbor. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

HABEL, LEONARD WILLIAM, Staff Sergeant, # 36585589, USAAF

 

Harold W. Habel was born on 27 April 1923 in Michigan to Aloysius Daniel Habel (1890-1967) and Anna Clara Habel (1895-1974) (married 29 June 1921). Siblings included (from 1st wife, Theresa Barbara (Frydrychowicz) Habel (1894-1919 – married 30 October 1912) Bernard James Habel (1914-1919), Andrew Irving Habel (1916-1975), Theresa Barbara Habel (1918-1996), (from Anna Clara Habel) Alfred Francis Habel (1924-2006), and Thomas Daniel Habel (1932-2016). His father was a farm laborer in 1920, and an auto factory trimmer in 1930-1940.

 

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained to maintain and monitor the mechanical systems (crew chief/engineer) and to shoot a .50 caliber machinegun on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 9 August 1944 a B-24J, # 44-40822, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 425th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, on a mission to lay mines in Hong Kong Harbor. This B-24 and another were shot down and crashed into the harbor. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.