Aven, Matthew G., Jr., SSgt

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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1944, AAF MOS 611, 418th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Aven, Matthew G., Jr., SSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Wichita Falls
Last Address
418th Bomb Squadron
Thorpe-Abbots, United Kingdom

Casualty Date
Mar 06, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Rose Hill Cemetery - Tyler, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section A

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)100th Bombardment Group, Heavy418th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 611, 100th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 611, 418th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Matthew G. Aven, Jr. was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on January 8, 1924 to Matthew G. Sr., and Minnie Mildred Johnson Aven. The US Census 1930 lists the family in Wichita Falls, but the US Census 1940 shows then as residents of Tyler, Texas.

Aven was drafted, and inducted into military service in 1942. He was assigned to the Army Air Forces, and trained as an aerial gunner. Upon completing this course, he was promoted to Sergeant, and assigned to an operational unit for crew training. The crew deployed to England in 1944, and flew either 1 or 2 missions. (Records not clear.)

On march 6, 1944, this crew was selected as part of a bombing raid on the industrial complex outside Berlin, Germany. The formation was attacked by numerous German fighters. The inexperienced gunners were overwhelmed by the skilled Luftwaffe pilots, resulting , according to records, in 23 of 38 B-17s being shot down.

Aven's aircraft was raked by heavy machine gun and cannon fire. The bomb load exploded, killing all the crew at their stations. The wreckage fell near Haseluene, Germany, just outside the target area. The dead were evidently recovered and buried locally, because after the war ended, they were retrieved by Allied forces and moved to other cemeteries. SSgt Aven presently lies in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler, Texas in Section A.

US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Headstone Application for Veterans Grave


SSgt Matthew G. Aven, Jr. was acting as a waist gunner on B-17G # 42-30278, named "Sly Fox," assigned to the 418th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 3016 was issued, and applies to this loss. Crew listings state the crew consisted of:

2 Lt Zeb Kendall, Jr.  p
2 Lt Edwin J. Loughran  c-p
2 Lt William R. Thorpe,Jr.  nav
2 Lt Clifford L. Gowen  bomb
SSgt Melvin A. Hickman  eng/tt gun
SSgt Leman E. Tutor  r/o
Sgt  Reginaldo Aguila  btg
Sgt  Matthew G. Aven, Jr.  wg
Sgt  Raymond L. Bridges  wg
Sgt  Victor Stoffregen  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

There were no survivors.

Service photo source:

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