According to the statement of witness 1stLt Leland G. Berlette: Lt. Kimball’s plane was the first to go down. When the attack started he was leading the second element and I was flying number two position on his right wing. His # 2 engine started smoking immediately and a few seconds later appeared to be on fire. Both pilot and co-pilot were evidently wounded for the # 2 propeller was not feathered and the plane dropped back immediately. I dropped back to cover him, but his plane then made a steep right turn and disappeared from view beneath our plane, later pulling up on our right and apparently under control. After another head on pass [of the enemy fighters], my tail gunner states that the plane immediately dropped down, turned over on its back and dived straight into the ground, exploding into flame immediately. No one bailed out. At this time, we were flying at approximately 11,000 feet.
KIMBALL, GEORGE HUBERT, First Lieutenant, # 0-661493, USAAF
George H. Kimball was born 4 February 1920 in Marion, Grant, Indiana to Hubert Gail Kimball (1896-1985) and Lucy Marie (Renbarger) Kimball (1896-1979) of Marion, Grant, Indiana. He had a sibling, Jack Edwin Kimball (1923-1992).
He enlisted while living in Blackford County, Indiana, on 7 November 1941 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, as an aviation cadet. He had two years of college. On 14 November 1943, B-24J, 42-73304, assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, upon which he was pilot, departed India on a bombing mission with six other B-24J bombers, to Pokokku, Burma. After the bombs were dropped, about 15-20 enemy fighters engaged them. Some were shot down and the remainder returned to their bases in India. The heroic efforts of the flight crew could not save them. The B-24 sufffered serious damage and, out of control, it dived into the ground. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart. The remains of at least eight crewmen (Becker, Callahan, Cory, Johnson, Kimball, Leibowitz, Speck and Walker ) were recovered by Graves Registration and returned to the U.S. A group grave (single casket) was buried 30 August 1949 in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri (Sec. 82, Grave 22B).
His brother, Jack E. Kimball, born 24 June 1923, served in the U.S. Navy from 17 February 1942 to 29 November 1946. He died 23 March 1992 in Fremont, Sandusky Co., Ohio, and is buried in the Greenlawn Memory Gardens in Clyde, Sandusky Co., Ohio.
Following shakedown along the California coast, Kalk departed San Francisco 28 December for patrol and escort duty in the Aleutian Islands. Steaming via Dutch Harbor, she arrived Adak 9 January and patrolled from Adak to Amchitka Island. On the 16th, she embarked 185 survivors of Arthur Middleton and Worden which had foundered in an Arctic storm. She transported them to Adak, then continued intermittent patrols until she sailed 26 February for home, arriving San Francisco 4 March.
After repairs, Kalk steamed from San Francisco 7 April and proceeded via the Panama Canal to New York, where she arrived a fortnight later for Atlantic convoy escort duty. She cleared New York 28 April, and the next day joined a 35-ship convoy, UGF-8, headed for Oran, Algeria. Arriving 12 May, she searched for a suspected U-boat. The destroyer departed Casablanca, French Morocco, 19 May escorting a westbound convoy. Arriving New York 31 May, she sailed 13 June via Casco Bay, Maine, and NS Argentia, Newfoundland, to Norfolk for further convoy-escort duty. From 27 June to 6 December she escorted three convoys between the United States and North Africa. After overhaul at New York and Boston, she arrived Norfolk 29 December and then sailed 2 January 1944 for the Pacific.