2nd Lt. Rudolph Henry Bisterfeldt

Born: 24 November 1919 - Bellwood, Illinois

Parents: Johan Conrad Biesterfeldt & Dorothea "Dorothy" Lenk-Bisterfeldt

    - mother remarried

Siblings: 4 sisters, 2 brothers


    - 111 South Harlem Avenue - Forest Park, Illinois


    - St. John Lutheran School, Forest Park

    - Proviso Township High School

         - Class of 1938


    - electrician


    - U. S. Army Air Corps

        - 18 October 1941 - Chicago, Illinois

- Serial Number: 36302852


    - Orange County Army Airfield, Santa Ana, California

    - Santa Maria Army Airfield, California

    - Lemoore Naval Air Station, California

        - awarded wings 

    - Luke Army Airfield, Arizona

    - Tonopah Army Airfield, Nevada


    - 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357 Fighter Group

Plane: P39-D


    - 6 April 1943 - plane crash - Tonopah, Nevada

         - The day of the crash, Bisterfeldt's formation had been up to 18,000 feet

             and were letting down in trail formation.  At approximately 15,000 feet, the

             formation had to fly around a small cumulus cloud which was about 300 yards in

             width.  This cloud was described by as being similar to a fair weather cumulus

             cloud.  The last time Bisterfeldt was seen was when he flew into this cloud which

             the rest of the formation had gone around. 

                 What happened in the cloud is not known, but the force of the plane hitting the

            ground shook houses in a mining camp about a mile from the scene of the

            accident.  The four wing guns were imbedded in the ground where the plane hit

            at about a 70 degree angle.  The plane and engine were completely

            disintegrated.  The pilots safety belt latch was found locked.  The crash took

            place at the Tonopah Bombing and Gunnery Range.  A cause for the crash

             was never determined. 


    - Concordia Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois 




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