David F. Pressel

1921 - 9 October 1943
Detroit - Hallig Hooge, Germany



David F. Pressel was born in 1921 and was from Indiana. He entered the service from Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana on 11 July 1942. David was married at that time.  David became a radio operator with the 510th Bomb Squadron, 351st Bomb Group, operating out of Polebrook.

Not much is known about his time with the 351st BG.
David was part of the crew of Lt Christman and flew the following missions:

On 24 August 1943 he went on a mission to bomb an airfield near Villacoublay, France (mission 31). On  September 1943, another airfield at  Conche & Evreaux-Fauville Aerodrome was attacked (mission 34). However, the formation was recalled and didn't drop bombs. The next day, again an airfield, this time at Romilly-sur-Seine, France.

510th Bomb Squadron

 351st Bomb Group

On 6 September 1943 he and his crew bombed the Railroad marshalling yard at Offenburg, Germany (mission 36). The next day they bombed Evere airbase near Brussels, Belgium (mission 37).

On the 15th of September (mission 39) they bombed anothe rairfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. On the 23rd it was back to France to bomb the harbour of Nancy (mission 41).

On the 26th (mission 42) they again went to France, to bombe an aircraft plant at Meilan, but they returned without bombing.

The next day, the 27th, they bombed the docks in the German City of Emden (mission 43).

Then the crew did not fly a few missions. They next came into action on 9 October 1943, when the 351st was sent to bomb the Arado aircraft factory at Anklam, Germany (mission 47)

David's crew consisted of:

Lt LLoyd N. Christman, pilot
Lt James D. Laird, co-pilot
Lt Eldred E. Hancy, navigator
T/Sgt Commodore L. Sharp, top turret gunner
T/Sgt David D. Pressel, radio operator
S/Sgt John R. Butterbach , ball turret gunner
S/Sgt William D. Klink, right waist gunner
S/Sgt James D. White, left waist gunner
S/Sgt Edmond J. Blais, tail gunner

In the early morning of the 9th of October, the Group was briefed to attack the Arado
Aircraft Factory at Anklam, Germany. The crews were very concerned when confronted by the mission details. It was the longest flight to date, with expected moderate to heavy flak concentrations.

T/Sgt Pressel's crew took off in B17 42-30867.

Shortly after crossing the Danish coast the group was attacked by German fighters. Thirty to fifty Me 109s pressed home many close attacks. The first plane to be hit was the second element lead, 42-30790 flown by Captain Morse.  At the start of the bomb-run the enemy fighters broke off their attacks, leaving the formation to suffer the attentions of the Anklam flak gunners. Smoke from the bombs of the preceding Wing obscured the target, as a consequence most of the bombs fell in the center of the city.  The formation turned for home and flew straight into the Luftwaffe's assembled forces. Me 110s and a few Ju 88s stood off and fired rockets into the formation. In Lt Hancey's plane, Sgts. Blais and Butterbach were killed in the fighter attack. Shortly later their plane was shot down.  Both Lt Hancey and Sgt David Pressel went down with the plane. Their bodies were never recovered. The remaing six crew members were taken prisoner.

Sgt Blais is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery. It is not known where Sgt Butterbach has been buried or commemorated.

T/Sgt david Pressel is mentioned on the Margraten Wall of the Missing.


See Also:
S/Sgt Edmond J. Blais
2Lt Eldred Hancy
S/Sgt John R. Butterbach

All casualties of the 351st Bomb Group

Armyairforces.com Forums
351st Bomb Group website

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

Posted 25 May 2009

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This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.


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