New England Air Museum
Daniel R. Bursch

 

Daniel Bursch, 2002

 

Recent Address:

2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI

Email:

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Family Information:

Wife: Madge

Hometown:

Buffalo, KS

Date Entered Service:

January 20, 1942

Service Number:

0808780

Bomb Group:

40th

Squadron:

25th

Location of Unit:

Pratt, KS (September, 1943)

Missions Flown:

Raid on Bangkok - 1st Combat Mission for B-29s

Hump Missions Flown:

Several

Targets:

Bangkok

Awards/Decorations:

India-Burma Campaign, China Campaign, Air Offensive Japan, Western Pacific Campaign, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Medal

Service Schools Attended:

Paratroop Training Ft. Benning 5/42; Air Cadet Training 9/42-43; 4-engine training Sebring, FL 8/43

Military Specialty(ies):

MOS 1093-Pilot B-29 VHB

Rank Upon Discharge:

1st Lt./Capt. (Res.)

Crew Type:

Flight crew

Airplane Serial No.& Name:

42-6288 (unnamed)

Were you a POW?

No

Were you interned?

No

Date Transferred from the 58th:

August, 1944

Date Discharged from the 58th:

February, 1946

Post-WWII Military Service:

Air Force Reserve 1946 - 1956; Mobilization assignment 1946-1950. Also served as Pilot for General Training at Grand Island, Neb. and Instructor Pilot on B-29s at Grand Island also Standardization Board Pilot at Grand Island, Neb.

Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):

1946 - 1950 Faculty member Colorado Springs Bible College, Colorado; 1950 - 1966 Missionary to N. Rhodesia; 1966 - 1970 President Owosso College, Michigan; 1970 - 1978 Vice Pres., John Wesley College, Michigan; 1978 - 1980 College Consultant; 1979 - pres. Real Estate Broker; Was affiliated with LeValley until 2001. Now independent broker.

Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:

Our No. 2 Crew ( Danny Rogers was the Commander) Seymour Balkin the Navigator, Claude P. Cook the Bombardier, Ramsey the Engineer, Culver the Top Gunner, Messerschmidt the Radio Operator, Karish the Radar Operator, and others. We flew to India from Pratt, Kansas. Flew the Hump several times and were on the 1st Bombing Mission on Bangkok on or about June 6, l944. We had to land at a British Base on our back from the Target. There were thunderstorms over our home base at Chukulia. Also one of our life rafts had escaped and left a huge hole in the horizontal stabilizer. We did take off the next morning and returned the our base at Chukulia....Also we were told by the British at the Base where we had spent our overnight that the invasion had begun in Europe. I think we made several trips over the Hump in June and July l944. But about the middle of July we were stopped from flying and in early August sent back to the States. There were 4 crews involved. One crew from each Group. Our crew spent the rest of the war training new crews out of Grand Island Nebraska and Puerto Rico for the Pacific. We were finally formed into the Standardization Board and our job was to standardize all Instruction. My job became to check ride Instructor Pilots twice a year and standardize all instruction.

Comments:

Difficult times but learned much!!  Would not change my experience for anything!  Had about 1000 hrs in B-29 at discharge.  We should give full support of our Military around the World.

 


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