Last Known Activity
Fred J. Graf, according to census data, was born in Illinois in 1919. His parents were Fred E. and Marie L. Graf. The US Censuses from 1920 to 1940 all show the family living in Chicago, Illinois.
Graf enlisted in the military, according to his records, on December 8, 1941 as a PFC from the National Guard (infantry) in Las Vegas, Nevada. He had completed 1 year of college (unnamed.) He was working as a sales person. The enlistment papers confirm nativity and year of birth.
He was trained as a bombardier, commissioned, and awarded wings in early 1942. He then was deployed to North Africa where he became a member of the B-17 combat crew headed by Lt. Maher. On November 28, 1942, the crew were on a mission to bomb targets in the Bizerte, Tunisia area. Enemy aircraft attacked the aircraft, which was shot down, It plunged into the Mediterranean Sea. There were no survivors, and no bodies were recovered.
Lt Graf is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery in Tunis. In addition, there is a memory stone marker for him in the Fairplains Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records
Lt Fred J. Graf was the assigned bombardier on B-17F #41-24374, unnamed, assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16038 covers this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
1 Lt Robert E. Maher p
2 Lt Roy C. Tobey c-p
2 Lt Lee H. Adkins nav
2 Lt Fred J. Graf bomb
MSgt Edward C. Shackleton eng/tt gun
TSgt Frank J. Conlon r/o
Sgt Harry R. Alger wg
Sgt Max D. McNeil wg
Sgt Charles R. Goodwin tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Shackleton's middle initial is listed variously as "C," "W," or "O," depending on source.
There is no known crew photo.