BITNER, PAUL ELLSWORTH, Second Lieutenant, # 0-675028, USAAF
Paul E. Bitner was born on 27 March 1916 in Montana to Paul Mathias Bitner (1891-1971) and Margaret Ellen “Nellie” (O’Mara) Bitner (1892-1930). Siblings were Elizabeth Ann Bitner (1917-1998), Grace Margaret (Bitner) Potteiger (1918-1971), James Edwin Bitner (1920-2001), and Carson Coover Bitner (1923- ). He was married to Ruby M. Bitner. He was recorded as a missing Jewish serviceman by his mother.
After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight school through advanced for the B-24 Liberator, earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 24 August 1943 a B-24D, # 42-40930, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 425th Bomb Squadron, Kunming, China, departed the airfield to bomb Hankow, China. It was attacked and shot down by enemy fighters. After recovery from Shanghai, China, the crew (Robinson, Bartlett, Brown, Bitner, Wade, Van Deventer) was buried in a group burial and ceremony in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky, on 12 May 1949 (Sec. E, Graves 49-50). He was awarded the Purple Heart.
His brother, James E. Bitner, born 21 July 1920, served in the U.S. Army, # 13022508, from 21 February 1941 to 1 February 1946 (overseas 7 December 1941 to 10 October 1945).
His brother, Carson C. Bitner, born 19 July 1922, served in the USAAF, # 13157538, from 2 December 1942 to 21 November 1945 (8 February 1943 to 12 June 1945 with a 3-week leave). He died 8 September 2001