Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society
Dale Bordner served as mayor of Grandview Heights from 1971 to 1974. He is shown at the left with his crew mates in the gun blister of an Australian seaplane that rescued them after their World War II Martin B-26 Marauder bomber was shot down. The B-26 often was referred to as the “widowmaker” because of the number of crashes that the aircraft was involved in.

At dawn on May 24, 1942, a Martin B-26 Marauder aircraft with a crew of eight took off from New Guinea on a bombing mission against a Japanese airfield at Rabaul.

The radioman on this mission was Cpl. Dale E. Bordner of Grandview Heights.

After successfully dropping their payload of 100-pound bombs, destroying many Japanese planes, the bomber, nicknamed the Imogene VII, was hit by anti-aircraft fire and ditched in the ocean just off shore from a Japanese-occupied island. Two crewmen died in the crash, and one died of injuries later.

After being rescued by local natives, two others were turned over to the enemy. Bordner, who sustained life-threatening injuries, and the other two survivors hid on the atoll for 10 months before being rescued by an Australian RAAF Catalina seaplane. This photo, from a LIFE Magazine article (June 28, 1943) documenting their ordeal, shows Bordner at the left, his other two crew mates and an Australian who had helped with the rescue inside of the seaplane’s gun blister.

Bordner received a Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Soldiers Medal. He returned to Ohio and served as Grandview Heights City Council president and was elected mayor in 1971.

He was one of the founders of the Grandview Boys Athletic Association and was its president.

In 1974, after a bitter fight to remain mayor, the courts ruled that his job with the Ohio Water Development Authority was public employment and thus violated Grandview’s charter that prohibits city officials from holding other public jobs.

He stepped down and was replaced as mayor by Larry Pierce. Bordner, who lived on Palmer Road, died of kidney failure in 1981.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.