|UK Friends of the 398th Bomb Group Stained Glass Memorial, St. George’s Church, Anstey, England. George Abbott's name is at the bottom of the lower right wing on the butterfly. See more complete description below.|
George Abbott was born in 1925, the son of Edward Abbott, Jr. and Anna McKown.
George lived on Arden Road with his parents, one older sister, Anna, and two younger sisters, Lois and Bertha. He attended elementary school at the Lincoln School on Beverly Road, Mt. Lebanon, located on land where his grandfather's (Edward Abbott) cows grazed just 10 years earlier. George later attended Mt. Lebanon High School on Cochran Road. His younger cousin, Harold Donley, later remembered how much it meant to him that his "big" cousin would often walk to school with him. George joined the Army Air Force October 18, 1943, a few months before his high school graduation, but was granted his diploma in Janurary 1944.
When George was home on leave, before leaving for Germany, he went to visit his grandfather. Edward told him "Get one for me, Son! Get one for me!" George's cousin, Harold, was fifteen years old at the time. Years later, he talked about what an emotional moment that was, as he stood there with their grandfather, watching George go off to war.
George was a Master Sargeant in DeLancey's crew of the 601st Bombardment Squadron, 398th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, 1st Air Division. He was stationed at Base Station 131, Nuthampstead , England. On October 15, 1944, the mission of the 601st was a bombing raid of the railroads in Cologne, Germany. George was a waist gunner, trained as a togglier (operating the door of the bomb bay). Immediately after dropping their load, the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire, piercing the turret and hitting George. He died instantly. One man was wounded, but recovered later. The nose of the plane was completely destroyed by flak, instruments were out, and maps had been blown out the window. The pilot, DeLancey, managed to bring the plane back to Nuthampstead, England, and landed it safely.
Several articles are available about George Abbott's last flight. [These articles are outside of the Abbott-LaValle Web site. You will have to click on your browser's "back" button to return to the Abbott-LaValle site.
- Delancey's Crew - 601st Squadron - 15 November 1944, a photograph of his squadron.
- It Was A Fortress Coming Home, the story of his last flight, with some photographs of the damaged aircraft.
- Delancey's Crew's Crippled B-17 15 October 1944, photographs and statistics of the damaged aircraft.
- A Remembrance of George E Abbott: Togglier 601 Squadron, by Wally Blackwell.
- Award Of The Silver Star to Lt. Lawrence Delancey, including a mention of losing the bombardier, who was George Abbott.
George was a member of Mount Lebanon Presbyterian Church. His ultimate sacrifice for his country was noted by the church in two documents.
UK Friends of the 398th Bomb Group Stained Glass Memorial
UK Friends of the 398th Bomb Group created a memorial to the men who died in the air and ground crews stationed at Base 131, Nuthampstead, England during the twelve-month period in 1944-45.
This memorial was in the form of a beautiful stained-glass window in St. George’s Church, Anstey, England with the names of all 298 men who died appearing in the stained glass.
The artist depicted the flight of the Israelites by symbolizing the Pillars of Smoke and Pillars of Fire that led them out of Egypt by day and by night. The window consists of three columns. The one on the left represents the smoky clouds, out of which stream many B-17 Flying Fortresses ascending upward. The column on the right represents the fire with B-17s descending, symbolizing the tumult through which the survivors passed.
The memorial was dedicated on June 11, 2000 by more than a hundred members of the 398th, English friends, dignitaries, and officials. The dedication was reported by "Flak News," Vol. 15, No. 2. For more information and pictures, visit the UK Friends of the 398th Bomb Group memorial description and their picture collection of other 398th memorials.
|UK Friends of the 398th Bomb Group Stained Glass Memorial, St. George’s Church, Anstey, England. George Abbott's name is on the largest butterfly in the center panel.|
Photos and scans of stained glass memorial: Courtesy of Geoff Rice, UK Friends of the 398th.