BUNKERS, OTTO ANTHONY - Minnehaha County, South Dakota | OTTO ANTHONY BUNKERS - South Dakota Gravestone Photos

Otto Anthony BUNKERS

Saint Mary's Catholic - Dell Rapids Cemetery
Minnehaha County,
South Dakota

Otto Bunkers Killed in Action;
Memorial Service Thurs. Sept. 27

Mr. and Mrs. Emil Bunkers received a communication Saturday from the U.S. navy department stating that their son Otto had been killed in action. They had received a message several weeks ago stating that he had been reported missing, and no other details were learned until the letter was received.

The information was written by E. Kyle Jr., Lt., U.S. M., stating that the plane, a B-24, upon which Otto was bombardier, went down off the coast of China.

"He had taken off about 6 a.m. in company of another plane on patrol off the China coast. About 10 a.m. they circled an enemy ship to investigate it. Suddenly the ship opened fire. The plane was hit, beginning to lose altitude and finally crashed. Seven crew members somehow got out. Otto and six others were lost when the plane broke in half and sank in less than a minute."

Otto Bunkers, A.O.M.B. 1-C, was born at Dell Rapids, February 26, 1925. He attended St. Mary's Academy, graduating and receiving his diploma following his enlistment in the navy on December 15th, 1942. He trained at Great Lake station, being assigned to the navy air corps. He continued training at Memphis, Tenn., and Jacksonville, Fla., before being assigned to active service November 8, 1944.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunkers had three sons in service. Melvin was discharged in August of last year. He lost a foot while serving in Italy. Vincent, who was serving with the navy, was given a medical discharge last November, because of an arm injury.

Otto is survived by his parents, five brothers and one sister, Harold, Melvin, Vincent, Yvo, Terry and Lois.

Memorial service will be held at St. Mary's church on Thursday morning of next week, September 27th at 9 o'clock, conducted by the Rec. Fr. Medicus.

Dell Rapids Tribune Sept. 20, 1945

PPC Lt. Leland P. "Mac" McCutcheon
Crew 11 of VPB-118 consisted of:
Lt. Leland P. McCutcheon (PPC), Lt. (jg) Frank Reeve (co-pilot), Ens. William E. Bucklew (co-pilot), Glen W. White AMM1c (plane captain/bow turret), Malden L. Miller AMM2c (mechanic/tail turret), Allen D. Nelson AMM2c (mechanic/port waist turret), James N. Welch AMM3c (mechanic/starboard waist turret), Ben L. Slack ARM2c (1st radio), R. Conrad Dodl ARM3c (2nd radio/forward top turret), Otto A. Bunkers AFC1c (bombardier), James F. Proctor AOM2c (ordnanceman/aft top turret)

Crew 11 was shot down by an ambush of concealed heavy AA guns on a ferry/gunboat that they intercepted near Shanghai on 7/21/1945. When PPC McCutcheon approached the boat to inspect it, the boat opened up with a devastating hail of AA fire. Ens. Bucklew was incapacitated or killed immediately. A fire engulfed Lt. McCutcheon's lower body. The plane broke up on impact. Some of the crew, though injured, were able to get into life rafts. The survivors were then in danger of attack from the ferry/gunboat, which was approaching rapidly. PPC Thompson and crew courageously chased off the boat after making two or three strafing runs at this heavily armed boat. After about 2 hours a PB2Y-2 Coronado recovered the survivors.

Six crew were killed in action: PPC McCutcheon, Lt. Reeve, Ens. Bucklew, O.A. Bunkers, A.D. Nelson, and J.N. Welch. Three were seriously injured: D. Feldman, B.L. Slack, and G.L. White. Four had less serious injuries and returned to the squadron after recovering: J.F. Proctor, N.A. Marquis, M.L. Miller, and R.C. Dodl.

Contributed on 2/4/11

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Record #: 100311

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Submitted: 2/4/11 • Approved: 7/8/19 • Last Updated: 7/11/19 • R100311-G0-S3

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