Last Known Activity
Vernon E. Archibald was born in Slat Lake City, Utah in 1919 to Clayton and Maudie Ethel Phalon Archibald. The US Census 1920 lists the family in Salt Lake City, Utah, while the US Census 1930 shows them living in Carlin, Nevada. (Vernon is listed as Vern E.) (His name is recorded as "Vernon" in 100th Bomb Group files; all other sources state "Vern")
According to his NARA file, he was drafted, and inducted into the military at Fort Douglas, Utah on February 9, 1942. His record shows he had completed 4 years of high school, and was working as a fireman.
He was assigned to the Army Air Forces, and trained as a bombardier. He was commissioned, awarded wings, and assigned to crew training on a crew headed by Lt James D. Higgins. This crew later ferried a new B-17 to England.
On December 23, 1943, the crew was assigned to the 418th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group. A few days later, they were transferred to the 95th Bomb Group, 336th Bomb Squadron. Here, they flew 8 combat missions.
On January 29, 1944, they were assigned to bomb facilities at Frankfurt, Germany. Flak was light, but accurate over the target. The aircraft was hit by flak, disabling one engine. The pilot feathered the propellor, dropped out of formation with the aircraft seemingly under control. However, it crashed in Ziegfield, Belgium.
Five of the crew survived and were captured, although it is not known if they parachuted out. Five dead were recovered, and buried in Ziegfield. After the war, the remains were retrieved, and moved to other cemeteries. Today, Lt Archibald lies in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium in Plot E, Row 15, Grave 15.
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
NARA Enlistment Records
Lt Vernon E. Archibald was acting as bombardier on B-17F # 42-30226, named "Spook V," assigned to the 336th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 2256 covers this loss. Crew rosters show the crew as:
2 Lt James D. Higgins p
2 Lt James S. Munn c-p
2 Lt Don A. Gallagher nav
2 Lt Vernon E. Archibald bomb
SSgt John E. Lugg eng/tt gun
SSgt Raymond W. Carrey r/o
Sgt Robert F.P. Humphrey btg
Sgt Jack Clark Lwg
SSgt Arthur M. Dulaney Rwg
Sgt Howard J. Thompson tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
In the crew photo, Lt Archibald is in the front row, 3rd from left.
Service photo source: