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Most of the informational links I post are related to the Eighth Air Force 384th BG 546th BS from Grafton Underwood England.


During World War ll, my father Kenneth Loader, was a Tech Sergeant .
He was an engineer and a top turret gunner on B17 Heavy Bombers stationed at Grafton Underwood England from 1943-1945. He was in the Eighth Air Force, 384th Bomb Group and the 546th Bomb Squadron. I believe his last mission was on 2-20-1945 and was on was on B17 "Satan’s Playmate"Tail # 42-97510


The internet roster shows him as a corporal, but we have his service information and his records show him as a 1st Sergeant and his uniform at the end of the war also is that of a 1st Sergeant, with wings and also specialist patches. My Dad was also awarded for his excellent marksmanship skills.

He and his crew members were among a few of the lucky ones to survive a crash landing after being hit by flak. My Dad was from New Bedford Mass when he enlisted.I know he was in Kingman, Arizona for training and also in Florida,then he was sent overseas.


Some of his crew members between 1943 and 1945. All of his missions are not recorded here. He was in about 11 missions, but I need to research some more details to list them here. With luck, I will find a few more of his crew mates.

Bill Mclean, Pilot Jack Smith, Co-Pilot
Jack Smith, Pilot
William Hatch, Co-Pilot
Brian Rummel, Pilot
Stanley Kloss, Co-Pilot
Jacob Fox, Navigator
Joe Todd, Navigator
Harry Hunt, Nosegunner
Clarence Gusitus, Nosegunner
Lynn Friend, Nosegunner
Richard Homer, Nosegunner
Kenneth Loader, Engineer and Top Turret Gunner
Radio Operator, Richard Holzbaur
Radio Operator, Allen Deen
Ball Turret Gunner, Herb Williams
Ball Turret Gunner, John Milkevich
Ball Turret Gunner, Harry Nead
Flexible Gunner, Lynn Friend
Flexible Gunner, Tom Martin
Flexible Gunner, Harry Hunt
Flexible Gunner, Don Brooks
Tail Gunner, John Milkevich
Tail Gunner, Tom Martin
Tail Gunner, Harry Nead







B-17G Flying Fortress 1/54 four-engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Model Plane

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) introduced in the 1930s.
Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and more than met the Air Corps’ expectations.
Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing’s design that they ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation.
The B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances. The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial, and military targets.
The United States Eighth Air Force based at Thorpe Abbotts airfield in England and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy complemented the RAF Bomber Command’s nighttime area bombing in Operation Pointblank to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord.
The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.




















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I remember my dad and uncles watching some of the new war movies produced after 1980, especially army air corp WWll. They would drive us crazy, because they would dissect every line that they knew was no where near true, and then,start talking about how it really was!All they kept saying was "Hollywood!"


I do remember my Dad and Uncle discussing the TV show Combat...This was one war show they and would watch the show in silence. I liked the show "Gallant Men" but the men said this was "also Hollywood" How was I to know...I think i was only about 8 or 10 when the shows were aired.



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B-17 Bomber - "Last Mission for the NINE-O-NINE"

The NINE-O-NINE, a Boeing B-17G Flyng Fortress of the 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group completed its last mission on 25 April, 1945.
She had one of the best maintenance records in the Eighth Air Force, flying a total of 140 sorties in enemy territory, including eight over Berlin and completed 126 without an abort.

Artist: Randy Green: Item 365: 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle:
Finished size 24" X 30".

First Puzzle I have seen for the B17!




My Dad’s Address Book lists some of his crew mates, and he has talked about these crew mates over the years:
List: Captain Jack Smith, Sydney Ohio...Mr Joe Todd, Lincoln Nebraska...
Mr. Harry Hunt, Middletown Ohio...Mr John Milkovich, Stone, Kentucky, Mr Harry Nead, Piqua Ohio, Mr Lynn Friend, Yuma Arizona,
Mr. Richard Holzhaur, Trenton New Jersey. I remember him mentioning his friend, Bill Mclean...I think the last address he had for him was somewhere in Texarkana. I remember him telling me that they did keep in touch for years.


A couple of the aircraft my dad and crew flew missions on: Satan’s Playmate, the Challenger and the other names are unknown, and have only the tail numbers. Over the years, my Dad has told he has had many stories to tell about his experiences in the Army Air Corp. I never heard him complain about any hard times, except the extreme cold in the high altitude and sometimes, all they had to eat while in the air were chocolate bars.. Otherwise, all his stories were on a positive note, with some humor, too!
Especially about the local women and barroom escapades! I don’t think my mom liked listening about the women,
but they did not know each other in 1945, so she could not complain too much!






Cotton-poly blend fabric

ProCrown shape with buckram-fused front panels

ProSweatband with twill face

Pre-curved PE visor with eight rows of stitching

Adjustable plastic back strap. Makes a Great Summer Hat!







The Bomber Boys: Heroes Who Flew the B-17s in World War II

True tales of heroism and the men who fought and died in the skies of World War II Europe.

In World War II, there were many ways to die. But nothing offered more fatal choices than being inside a B-17 bomber above Nazi-occupied Europe.
From the hellish storms of enemy flak and relentless strafing of Luftwaffe fighters, to mid-air collisions, mechanical failure, and simple bad luck, it’s a wonder any man would volunteer for such dangerous duty.
But many did. Some paid the ultimate price. And some made it home. But in the end, all would achieve victory.

Here, author Travis L. Ayres has gathered a collection of previously untold personal accounts of combat and camaraderie aboard the B-17 Bombers that flew countless sorties against the enemy, as related by the men who lived and fought in the air-and survived.

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My Dad just turned 89 on March 28, 2010. Unfortunately, his health is not what it used to be a couple of summers ago. He was a very active and strong person until he had a couple of strokes.   The stroke came as a surprise one evening. He had two major checkups the previous month. The heart doctor and his regular doctor gave him a clean bill of health two days before this happened!

He even passed a stress test!


If anyone would like to send him a card, which I know he would appreciate, please email me at ajoy@foodfunandfacts.com and I will send you the address. He would love to hear from anyone who loves the US Army Air Corps and other who love all types of Planes!



The Eighth Air Force B17 Bomber Store

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For the men of the Army Air Corps in early World War II, the chance of surviving the obligatory twenty-five missions without death, injury, or imprisonment was one in three.

In this ground breaking book, Rob Morris has sought out remarkable but little-known stories of the air war from the men who lived and fought it.

Based on hundreds of interviews with American veterans and their families, Untold Valor illuminates the courage of airmen whose exploits have until now remained untold.
Read about Jewish aviators; experiences as POWs in German camps. Learn about American airmen who were imprisoned, even killed, by the neutral Swiss and about two Air Corps enlisted men who changed U.S. policy toward liberated concentration camp survivors. Also discover the unusual story of Luftwaffe commander Herman Goering’s nephew, who flew B-17 missions against Germany.

While some of the stories cover major events, most are about incidents and individuals misrepresented or overlooked by history books.
Yet their efforts were vital, their lives forever changed.
Detailed and moving, Untold Valor is certain to interest the serious air historian and the casual reader alike. With a foreword by the editor of B17’s Over Berlin.