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Eugene "Gene" Roddenberry
B-17 Pilot, 5th Bombardment Group, 394th Bombardment Squadron
Creator of Star Trek

Background
Eugene Wesley Roddenberry was born August 19, 1921 in El Paso, Texas as the first child of Eugene Edward Roddenberry and Caroline "Glen" (née Goleman) Roddenberry. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1923 after Gene's father passed the Civil Service test and was given a police commission. He learned to fly as part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program.

Wartime History
Click For EnlargementOn December 8, 1941 he enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as an aviation cadet serial number 19066085 was part of class 42-G. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on August 5, 1942. Roddenberry was assigned to the 5th Bombardment Group "Bomber Baron", 394th Bombardment Squadron at Bellows Field on Oahu as a B-17 pilot.

He deployed with the squadron overseas to the South Pacific operating from Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal and flying bombing missions over the Solomon Islands.

On July 11, 1943 piloted by Lt. Eugene "Gene" Roddenberry armed with fragmentation cluster bombs on a night mission to harass targets around Kahili on southern Bougainville.

On August 2, 1943, pilot Roddenberry was piloting B-17E "Yankee Doodle" 41-2463 during an attempted take off from Guadalcanal (other sources state Espiritu Santo). Suffered an aborted take off (or mechanical failure) and crashed at the end of the runway. Aboard, two of the crew in the nose were killed in the crash: bombardier Sgt John P. Krueger and navigator Lt. Talbert H. Wollam.

Roddenberry retired with the rank of Captain and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal for his World War II service.

Postwar
Roddenberry was a screenwriter, TV producer and actor most famous for being the creator of the science-fiction series Star Trek.

Memorials
On October 24, 1991 Roddenberry died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, CA. He was cremated. In 2007 a quarter ounce of his ashes launched into orbit and in 2009 more of his ashes were launched into a deep space orbit.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Eugene Wesley Roddenberry
IMDB - Gene Roddenberry
FindAGrave - Gene Roddenberry (photo)

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