39th Bomb Group (VH)

Pilot's Badge


airmedal.gif [The Air Medal]

Unit Citation
and Awards

arpuc.jpg [The Presidental Unit Citation]


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2nd Lt Edward V. Dengler

Edward Dengler

Born May 18, 1923 in St. Louis, MO, the Dengler family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas before settling in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended schools there, graduating from Des Moines Roosevelt High School in 1941. He furthered his studies at Iowa State College, then Iowa State College each for one year. Dengler was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, an avid golfer and sports fan, and lettered in both golf and basketball in high school and college.

Ed was inducted into the service at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, in 1943. He began his training in Beloit, Wisconsin and completed his pilot's instruction at Stockton Field, CA. April 15, 1944. He was assigned to Crew 44 at Great Bend Kansas. Afterwards, while stationed at SHAAF, Salina, Kansas, he met his wife, Marjorie N. Bayless, in November 1944, at a crew party in the Trianon Ballroom. That first date cumulated in marriage on February 5, 1945.

Margie, born in Downs, Kansas, October 20, 1926, had moved to Salina immediately after graduation from high school in Concordia, Kansas. While Ed was overseas, she went to Des Moines to live with his mother, and worked at Meredith Publishing Company until he arrived home from overseas. The next seventeen years were spent raising a family and participating in youth and church activities. When Ed started college, financial needs brought Marge back to into the work force as a secretary.

Their first son, Edward, Jr., was born July 16, 1946 in Des Monies and a second John, arrived on November 5, 1947.

Edward in order to earn college funds took the only available job he could find driving a taxi cab. One summer night, after picking up a fare, he was shot in the head in a robbery attempt. There were three brain surgeries, months in the hospital and months of recovery at home. Though he survived, he still has vision and memory problems.

John received his Master's Degree from University of Iowa, and pursued a career as a social worker for Koinonia, a foster home agency. They have two girls.

Ed and Marge also had a daughter, Susan born in Des Moines, raised in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Cono Christian School. She attended Trinity College and worked several years before her marriage.

Marge poignantly remembers when the crew was at Herington Air Force Base, Kansas. Herington was a staging base for the crews slated for overseas shipment. Crew 44 was alerted three times before they finally too off for Guam.

Among the various decorations that Dengler received were the DFC and three Air Medals. Ed suffered a massive heart attack and died on January 11, 1984. Services were held two days later with internment in Glenwood Cemetery - Masonic Section.

Crew 44 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source:Mrs. Marjorie N. Dengler (now Mrs. Orville Fenskel) for the book
"History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird (crew 5) and David C. Smith crew 31)