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First Name: John

Last Name: Botts

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: OH
Middle Name: F.

Date of Birth:

Date of Death: 02 July 1944 (Presumed)

MIA Date: 02 July 1944

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served:
John F. Botts

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John F. Botts
Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces

In July 1944, Sergeant John F. Botts was serving as a tail turret gunner with the 756th Bomb Squadron, 459th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 304th Bombardment Wing, 15th Air Force, based at Giulia Airfield, Italy. The 459th Bombardment Group flew B-24 Liberator bombers on missions in Italy, France, the Balkans, Austria and Germany.

On 2 July 1944, SGT Botts was the tail turret gunner on B-24H Liberator bomber Serial Number 42-52342 named ‘Fighting Mudcat,’ which was on a bombing mission over Budapest, Hungary.

According to MACR 6412, Fighting Mudcatwas last sighted at 1015 hours when the aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire and left the formation. The aircraft had a crew of 9. SSGT John N. Stack, a crew member on another bomber in the formation, observed nine parachutes leaving the plane. All 9 members of the crew survived their parachute jumps from the aircraft. However, although they were listed as POWs, SGT John F. Botts and SGT Anthony N. Sposito are listed as having died with a Presumed Date of Death of 2 July 1944. A burial site was found for SGT Botts; none was found for SGT Sposito. The other 7 crew members served as POWs in German prison camps until they were liberated in April 1945.

Botts received a posthumous promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Air Medal
Prisoner of War Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army Air Forces Aircrew Badge

B-24H Liberator Bomber Serial Number 42-52342 named Fighting Mudcat had the following crew on 2 July 1944.

● Pilot: 1LT Walter R. Chance [Honoree Record ID 308255] POW
● Co-Pilot: 2LT Jack Setliff [Honoree Record ID 113621] POW
● Bombardier: 2LT Wright S. Swanay [Honoree Record ID 308256] POW
● Engineer/Gunner: SSGT Thomas S. Welch [Honoree Record ID 308257] POW
● Radio Operator: TSGT Victor L. Radmill [Honoree Record ID 308258] POW
● Waist Gunner: SSGT Vincent G. Doyle [Honoree Record ID 308259] POW
● Waist Gunner: SSGT Bernard J. Churney [Honoree Record ID 308260] POW
● Ball Turret Gunner: SGT Anthony N. Sposito [Honoree Record ID 308261] POW
● Tail Turret Gunner: SGT John F. Botts [Honoree Record ID 106026] POW


Staff Sergeant John F. Botts is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France, in Plot D, Row 43, Grave 35.

[The information in this biography was derived primarily from various sections of the 459th Bombardment Group website at http://www.459bg.org/ and permission was granted for its use.]

Honoree ID: 106026   Created by: MHOH




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