In Memory of
Army Air Force Sergeant
Grenville, South Dakota
Day County, South Dakota
December 20, 1923 -- February 27, 1945
Missing in Action over Hollen, Germany
Ernest Block was born in Webster, South Dakota on December 20, 1923. He was
born to Frank and Martha Cisewski Block. He had two sisters: Lucille and Arlene.
Leonard was his only brother. Ernest Block grew up in Grenville and completed
the first eight grades at a public school and two years at St. Joseph School in
Grenville. Ernest enjoyed hunting and fishing around where he grew up.
Ernest entered the United States Army on December 7, 1943. He was trained at
Biggs Field, Amarillo and in Laredo, Texas. In July of 1944, Ernest was sent
overseas. Based in England, he was a top turret gunner in the 701st
Bomber Squadron,445th Bomber Group, Heavy. Before his death in 1945,
Ernest completed 48 missions successfully.
Sergeant Ernest Block was pronounced missing in action over Hollen, Germany
on February 27, 1945. The wings of his plane were shot off in his final mission.
Most of the crew perished but the pilot, co-pilot, and nose gunner parachuted to
safety. His body was never recovered, but a tablet marker for him can be seen at
the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. For his meritorious service he
was awarded the Air Medal, three Oak Leaf Clusters, two Bronze Stars, and the
He is survived by his two sisters: Arlene Breske of Webster, South Dakota,
and Lucille Gaikowski of Watertown, South Dakota. His brother, Leonard Block,
resides in Webster, South Dakota. His father died in August of 1983 at the age
of 89, and his mother passed away in June of 1985 at the age of 84.
This entry was submitted by Crystal
Pies and Jeremy Beisch, 11th grade, Waubay Public High School,
Waubay, South Dakota, February 22, 2002. Information for this entry was provided
by Mrs. Lucille Gaikowski, Watertown, South Dakota, sister of Ernest Block.