John E. Dengler was born on March 18, 1918 to Samuel and Alice Dengler who lived in Elverson, Pennsylvania. His father was a well known cattle dealer, and served several terms as the Recorder of Deeds in Chester County. John was the youngest child of three children.
John attended local schools, as well as the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained employment with Dupont as an accountant, moving to Delaware.
John enlisted in the Army in May, 1941, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant at George Field, Illinois in August 1943. John received his “wings” as a B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber co-pilot.
John was assigned to serve with the 774th Bomber Squadron, 463rd Bomber Group, Heavy, of the 15th Air Force. The quadron was transferred to the European Theater of Operations in February, 1944, flying across the Atlantic Ocean to Foggia, Italy.
John’s Squadron entered combat on March 30th striking an enemy airfield in Imoski, Yugoslavia. They flew numerous missions striking targets in Italy, Germany, Austria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Greece. John was awarded the Air Medal in early June. He was also awarded the Purple Heart.
On a June mission to strike an airfield at Oberpaffenhoffen, Germany, the 463rd Bomber Group sent 25 aircraft – one was lost – it was John’s.
First Lieutenant John E. Dengler was reported as Missing In Action on June 13, 1944. The family received notification their son was missing on June 26th. In October, the War Department notified them that John was listed as Killed In Action.
A memorial service was held for John on October 15, 1944 at the Elverson Methodist Church. The Lions Club attended the service to honor John.