STRUNK, KENNETH H., Second Lieutenant, # 0-703071, USAAF

 

Kenneth H. Strunk was born in 1923 in Pottstown, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania, to Leslie Guy Strunk (1898-1966) and Lillian M. (Yocom) Strunk (1902-1878). A sibling was Leslie Guy Strunk Jr. (1921-1961).

 

After enlisting in the USAAF on 12 December 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he completed schools as a bombardier on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India 1 June 1944. On 5 November 1944, a B-24L Liberator, # 44-41440, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission over coordinates 17º 42’ North & 92º 02’ East. All of the crew were killed in the crash of the B-24L. It was last sighted by 1stLt William T. Makovic, 0-696478, 2ndLt John M. Crowley, 0-712085, and 2ndLt George J. MeNamera, 0-869350. 1stLt Makovic reported that at 1840 hours (IST) he last saw Lt. Cheaney’s B-24. Lt. Cheany was at 2,000’ on a course of 190º at about 160 MPH. Makovic was flying parallel to Cheaney and was about 3-4 miles to Cheaney’s right. The weather worsened for a few minutes. It cleared and at the same moment, Lt. Cheaney’s B-24 veered across in front of him at about an 80º angle and disappeared into clouds to Makovic’s right. It was dark and Cheaney had his lights on. Cheaney’s turn was irregular because the flight plan was to continue on course for another 15 minutes before their first turn, which would be left, not right. There was no distress call and nothing appeared abnormal as to Cheaney’s B-24. A search with Capt. Louis A. Butler, Jr., 0-558867, commanding, was by eight planes on 7 November 1944. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Arlington National Cemetery (Sec. 34, Grave 4380). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.