the Kassel Mission Chronicles Podcast

World War II. Sept. 27, 1944. 35 B-24 Liberator bombers. 150 German Fokke-Wulf 190 and Messerschmitt 109 fighter planes. 6 minutes. 25 bombers shot down. Over 30 fighters lost. World War II's most spectacular air battles was also one of its most unusual, in that 45 years later the combatants on both sides got together and dedicated a monument with the names of all of those who died in the battle. This podcast is dedicated to presenting the little known history of that battle.

Episode 7: Two Kassel MIAs identified

The Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944 was not only one of World War 2's most spectacular battles, it was also one of the most unusual, in that it took place between 20,000 and 26,000 feet above what would become the dividing line between East and West Germany. As a result, half of the 25 bombers that were shot down crashed east of the border, and the crash sites were not accessible to anyone from the West until the German reunification in 1990. Of the 117 American airmen who died in the battle, eight were still listed as Missing in Action, including five from the Hansen crew. Just recently, the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) announced that through advanced DNA testing of remains, it has identified two of those crew members, Technical Sergeant James Triplett of Spokane, Washington; and Second Lieutenant Porter Pile of Harlingen, Texas. The two will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in a special ceremony on October 31. In this episode of the Kassel Mission Chronicles, hosts Linda Alice Dewey and Aaron Elson discuss the efforts of the Kassel Mission Historical Society to reach out to family members of airmen who perished on the flight, and to coordinate with the DPAA on several active cases involving the six remaining MIAs. In addition, Aaron shares a recording of P-51 pilot Bob Volkman who tells of a dramatic dogfight between fighter pilot Bill Beyer and a noted German ace. Thank you for listening, and be sure to visit the Kassel Mission web site, Also look for Aaron's oral history of the mission, "Up Above the Clouds to Die," available at amazon and; and check out Linda's great artwork at, where you can order notecards, calendars and many other items featuring pastels of Leelenau County, Northern Michigan and Arizona.

Episode 6: The Search For Ray Ische, MIA

Of all the tragedies surrounding the ill-fated Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944, this one is still ongoing. Lt. Raymond Ische, the lead navigator for the 445th Bomb Group that day, remains MIA, and may still be buried in German soil. In this episode of the Kassel Mission Chronicles, Linda and Aaron discuss the search for Lieutenant Ische with MIA investigator Robert Rumsby.

Episode 5: The Kassel Mission: Frank Bertram's Story

There are hundreds of individual stories associated with the Kassel Mission. Some have been told many times, others will never be told. This is Frank Bertram's story.

Episode 4: Jim Bertram Shares His Father's Story

Linda Alice Dewey and Jim Bertram discuss Frank Bertram, Jim's father, and the impact the Kassel Mission had on his life. Then Jim shares his father's story of the mission and his experiences as a prisoner of war, and tells how Frank met Walter Hassenpflug, who played an important role in creating the Kassel Mission Memorial.

Episode 3: On A Wing And A Prayer

After the Kassel Mission air battle, pilot William R. Dewey reached an emergency landing field at Manston, England, with a crippled B-24 that had the worst damage for a returning plane that an Air Corps photographer had ever seen. He went on to become a lead pilot in the 445th Bomb Group. This is his story as related by his daughter.