The story of Dale R. Estle














































































Dale R Estle was born in the year 1915.

His fathers name was Tony Ray Estle, mothers name was Mary Ann Estle.

He had 8 sisters and 3 brothers.

The family lived in Kossuth County, Iowa.


He did high school and graduated in 1933 from High school and went away for college, from time to time he made some visits home.

He did Business College for some time and worked in a restaurant.

He did this for paying his college expense.

The college did not took long and he continued working in the restaurant.


In 1936 he married with his high school sweetheart, Lu Metta Reese.

Dale and Lu Metta.

They lived a short time in California, then moving back to Iowa, where they lived when he enlisted in the army in 1942.

At the time he enlisted in the army he was a cook at the Hotel fort des Moines in Des Moines Iowa, a fairly prestigious position.


He went in the Army on the 28th of December 1942. His serial number was 37-652-527.

His enlistment place was at Camp Dodge, Iowa. First he was at the reserve corps, but that did not took long.  

On January the 4th 1943 he started active duty. He was transferred to the Army Air Force and was stationed at the Miami Beach, Florida Air Base, where he received his basic training and had 3 promotions of Private First Class, Corporal and Sergeant.

In December 1943, transferred to flight status and he went to the school for aerial gunners at Tyndall Field, Florida. He graduated and received his wings there on February the 15th in 1943.


Then he was allowed to go home for 15 days, before he went to his base at Salt Lake City, Utah.

From Salt Lake, he was transferred to Pueblo Army Air Force Field, at Pueblo Colorado. There he received 2,5 months of intensive overseas flight training with his organised bomber crew, on a liberator B-24 Bomber.

Dale R. Estle is the man on the right below.


Then he transferred to Topeka, Kansas and the to the East Coast.

In June 1944 he went overseas for duty, received further training at bases in England, Scotland and Ireland.

Last base in England on active bomber duty in the European Theatre of Operations with the 786th Bomb Squadron of the 466th Bomber Group/H

He was promoted to Staff Sergeant on August the 13th 1944.


Then it became August the 15th 1944.

The crew had a mission to Vechta in Germany; they flew in a B-24 H aircraft number 42-95157.

On their way back to England it went wrong. Between 12:50 and 12:56 hours their plane was hit by an enemy aircraft and crashed.

The plane crashed in the area of Nijetrijne, Friesland in The Netherlands.

According eyewitness there were 3 engines on fire and it turned over at 12:55 hours at 20.000 ft.

There were 6 crewmembers killed in action and they were buried then on the Cemetery in Wolvega.

Dale was buried there in section 16, row 1 grave 21.

According the Missing Air Crew Report { MACR} there were 3 crewmembers taken prisoner of war.

One crewmember was helped by the Dutch Resistance and survived the war.


Later he was reburied at the Margraten War Cemetery in The Netherlands where he has his

last resting place now in section B Row 5 grave 17.


The grave of Dale Raymond Estle was first adopted by a lady from The Netherlands. Because of her age and health she was not able anymore to visit the grave of Dale.

She past over the grave to us.

She has taken care of his grave since the Netherlands where liberated us, she told us.


We thank Velda for the story and the pictures of her brother Estle R. Dale.