Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180

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This B-25 Mitchell, 41-13180, and crew were assigned to the 487th Squadron of the 340th Bomb Group. On April 6, 1944 the plane was crippled by flak over the target, Perugia Aerodrome in central Italy, and was last seen spiraling earthward with 4 chutes. On January 13, 1950 three crewmembers were buried in Section E Site 226-227 of the Zachary Taylor Natl Cemetery.

Lt Gerald U. Ashmore, Pilot Zachary Taylor Nal Cemetery
Sgt Julius W. Ikner, Gunner Zachary Taylor Natl Cemetery
Sgt Jesse S. Klein, Tailgunner Zachary Taylor Natl Cemetery
2/Lt Hamilton E. Finney, Copilot Returned to his Squadron
2/Lt George L. Simpson, Bombardier Returned to his Squadron
Cpl Bernard A. Burton Radio Gunner Returned to his Squadron

The copilot 2nd Lt. Hamilton E. Finney, the bombardier 2nd Lt. George L. Simpson and the radio gunner Cpl. Bernard A. Burton all bailed out and returned to their squadron.The aircraft, 41-13180, flew its first mission on March 27, 1944 and was shot down a week later on April 6, 1944. It is presumed this was originally a 12th Bomb Group plane that was left when the 12th left for the CBI and was a replacement for the planes lost on March 22, 1944 when Vesuvious blew her top and destroyed all of the 340th BG planes on the ground.The volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on March 22nd, 1944 caused more physical damage to the 340th bombardment group than the German air raid was to inflict two months later at Alesan Air Field on the island of Corsica. Indeed, 88 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers were covered in hot ash which burned off the fabric control surfaces and glazed the Plexiglas. Planes were tipped onto their tails from the weight of the ash. All 88 B-25s were completely totaled.

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February 13, 2011
Dear Frank,
First let me tell you how much I enjoyed viewing your site.
My name is Alan Schneider. My distant cousin, Sgt. Jesse Klein was a tail gunner who flew with a B-25 crew shot down and killed in Italy. He is mentioned on your Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Page 5. My dad, Jesse's first cousin, had mentioned him in passing and even visited his grave at Zachary Taylor Military Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.
Your site is the first time I ever saw Jesse's name listed anywhere on the net. I have tried to find out about him in the past but really did not know how to go about it. My dad, who passed away in 2008, never spoke about him or his own WWII days (US Navy). I am wondering if you would have any idea how to find further information on Jesse Klein. We were not really that close with my dad's family, so contacting them would be nearly impossible. Any ideas or further information you would have would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
Alan Schneider
viking053@aol.com

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name: Janet Dethick April 18, 2012

email: bombedpowtrain@gmail.com

Subject: Jesse Klein and Alan Schneider

I have been trying to contact Alan Schneider with information about his relative Jesse Klein but he is not responding - presumably my email is ending up as spam. Would it be possible for me to get in touch with him through you? I belong to a committee in Umria Italy which is trying to contact the relatives of the men on Jesse's plane.

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April 21, 2012
Alan Schneider and Janet Dethick are communicating now. I am glad I could help!
Frank Grube
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Info on Jesse
Date: 11/10/2014 8:11:41 P.M. Pacific Standard Time
From: Send IM to: Viking053Viking053@aol.com
To: Send IM to: FLGrube1flgrube1@aol.com
Dear Frank,
A few years ago we emailed back and forth regarding Sgt Jesse S. Klein. Because of your site I have gotten in contact with a cousin of mine I have not seen in over 50 years. We were from different sides of the family and I am 8 or 10 years younger.
My cousin and I spoke for a long while on the phone about our families and of course Jesse. I gave her Janet Dethicks email and they have corresponded. I and Janet both have a picture of Jesse now.
None of this would have been possible without your website.
Thank You ever so much.
Sincerely,
Alan Schneider

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Sgt. Jesse Klein USAAC, April 6, 1944, crash, Perugia
Date: 7/22/2015 11:12:54 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
From: lpomerantz@wowway.com
To: bombedpowtrain@gmail.com, flgrube1@aol.com
CC: jeffklein19@gmail.com, asklein@optonline.net, viking053@aol.com

Re: Sgt. Jesse Klein USAAC This B-25 Mitchell, 41-13180, and crew were assigned to the 487th Squadron of the 340th Bomb Group. On April 6, 1944 the plane was crippled by flak over the target, Perugia Aerodrome in central Italy, and was last seen spiraling earthward with 4 chutes.

Dear Janet and Frank,

Through Frank's website (http://flgrube1.tripod.com/id234.html) and with the help of Alan Schneider, I was able to locate Jeffery Klein, Jesse Klein's nephew. Over 45 years ago I came to possess Jesse's Purple Heart and Air Medal but as of today (July 22, 2015) the medals are in the hands of the rightful owner, Jeff Klein! The attachment provides a fuller description of how this came about.

COL (ret) Louis Pomerantz

This is the attachment!

In the course of doing genealogy research, tracing my parents; respective families, I took an excursion. My paternal grandfather, Louis Pomerantz, for whom I am named, died in 1940. Sometime in the 1940s, my widowed grandmother, Paulie, married a widower, Ben Klein. After Ben died in the late-1960s, my grandmother decided to move from Florida, returning home to New York. My grandmothers possessions ended up at my parents; home on Long Island.

While unpacking boxes, I came upon a Purple Heart and an Air Medal, both inscribed Jesse Klein.I asked my father who Jesse was and he told me Jesse was Bens son and Jesse was shot down over Europe during World War II. I was enrolled in Army ROTC at the time the medals came into my possession. Since there was no contact with any of Bens relatives, the medals remained with me. For about 47 years, I have kept and treasured Jesses medals. As a retired Army Colonel, who never had the chance to serve in a combat zone, I appreciate the ultimate sacrifice Jesse made for his Nation and I understand the significance of the medals, awarded posthumously, to Jesses father, Ben.

While researching my family genealogy I decided to search for Jesse Klein WW II aviator; and was surprised to find websites with information detailing the incident that took 24 year old Jesse life. On one web site, a distant cousin of Jesse, Alan Schneider, posted a request for any information about Jesse. I contacted Alan via e-mail and a few days later I was rewarded with a reply. Alan had forwarded my name and contact info to Jesses nephew. Serendipity struck; as I closed Alans e-mail a new e-mail appeared, this one from Jeffrey Klein, Jesses nephew and namesake. After a flurry of e-mails, followed by a telephone conversation, Jeff and I bonded. We became family, though we do not share a common ancestor. Jeff put me in contact with his older brother Art and he and I also have exchanged e-mails and weve spoken.

On July 22, Jeff and I and our wives met. Though we wanted to connect and get to know one another, I had another mission: to transfer a Purple Heart and an Air Medal to Jesse Kleins nephew.

Mission accomplished.

jesseklein11.jpg

COL (ret) Louis Pomerantz (left) presents Sgt. Jesse Klein’s Purple Heart to Jeffrey Klein, Jesse’s nephew. An Air Medal also was presented.

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Subject: Re: Sgt. Jesse Klein USAAC, April 6, 1944, crash, Perugia
Date: 7/23/2015 1:19:43 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
From: Viking053@aol.com
To: FLGrube1@aol.com

Dear Frank,

It is a pleasure to hear from you again. As far as I am concerned please publish all of it. I hope this might encourage others to take the time and answer inquiries. Because of your site, three people sharing a common interest have been brought together. As far as I am concerned Lou is also family, as is Jeff who is my cousin. The greatest pleasure I have is knowing that a true hero is not forgotten. Before I contacted you several years ago I ran into dead ends everywhere. Because of you Jesse will not be forgotten. I think that is the most satisfying feeling from this endeavor.

Best Wishes,

Alan

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