Vincent Austin Bell


Oct. 30, 1923 – Jan. 7, 2013
Vincent Austin Bell of La Crescenta passed away Monday, Jan. 7. He was born in Clinton, Iowa on Oct. 30, 1923 to Vincent Bell and Clara Stapleton Bell. He attended school in Morrison, Ill. and graduated from Morrison High School in 1941. He enlisted as an aviation cadet in 1942. During World War II, he completed 24 missions as a B-17 pilot with the 346th Bomb Squadron, 99th Bomb Group (H) of the Fifteenth Air Force in Foggia, Italy. In later years he became active in the 99th Bomb Group Historical Society.

He attended the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1949, and a law degree in 1951. He was recalled in the Air Force as a pilot in 1951 and served two years as a judge advocate and as a pilot. He remained active in the reserve of the U.S. Air Force and retired as a colonel in 1975.

Following the Korean War, he was employed in Los Angeles by Union Bank & Trust Company, and Korea Exchange Bank of Seoul, Korea as an advisor in the Los Angeles Agency. He organized its first subsidiary in the United States and served as director and senior vice president. He subsequently organized and founded two other banks in Los Angeles.

He was a York Rite Mason, Los Angeles Commandery #9, and a 60-year member of Iowa City Lodge #4, AF & AM. He was also active in the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple, and Royal Order of Jesters Court 84.

He married Luciann Smith on Aug. 20, 1949 in Davenport, Iowa. They moved to La Crescenta in 1955.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Robert; and niece Barbara.

He is survived by his wife; daughter Ann Wilson (Denton) of San Luis Obispo and their children Tyler and Alexandra; and his son Vincent Bell (Leila) of La Crescenta and their children Jabe and Lucy.

Services will be held Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. in the Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church, 2700 Montrose Ave.

Additional information can be found at

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