Last Known Activity
Hike B. Bagdasian was born in Virginia in 1918 to Harry and Rosa Bagdasian. The US Census 1930 locates the family in Washington, D.C.
Bagdasian was drafted, and inducted into military service at Fort Myer, Virginia on June 2, 1942. His enlistment papers confirm nativity and state he had completed 3 years of high school. The file also states he was employed as a postal clerk.
He was chosen for flight duty, and received training as both a flight engineer and as an aerial gunner. He was then assigned to crew training. The crew deployed to England, arriving there in June, 1944. Although the crew underwent changes in personnel through the months that followed, Bagdasian remained with the crew, and was dispatched on at least 26 missions.
On September 11, 1944, the crew was sent to bomb the oil refinery located at Ruhland, Germany. Over the target, the formation was attacked by enemy fighters. After several firing passes, the B-17 was burning, with several of the crew wounded. It is assumed the bail-out was given, but then, the plane exploded. Wreckage fell near a small German village.
Two crew members were captured by the Germans and made prisoners. It can be assumed they parachuted down, but they could have survived the crash. Seven bodies were removed from the crash scene, and buried locally. After the war ended, these were retrieved and moved to other cemeteries. On February 27, 1950 (by records) they were buried in a group burial in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. The graves are in Section 78, Graves 957-961.
NARA Enlistment Records
US Census 1930
Interment Records Card for National Cemeteries (1950)
TSgt Hike B. Bagdasian was acting as flight engineer and top turret gunner on B-17 F #42-97154, named "Our Baby Hutchie," assigned to the 350th Bomb Squadron. (Other sources use the name "Our Babe," but "Our Bay Hutchie" is used throughout 100th Bomb Group records.)
Missing Air Crew Report 8817 was issued to account for this loss. Crew rosters show the crew as:
1 Lt Wesley R. Carlton p
2 Lt Edward F. Neu c-p
2 Lt Hugh R. Davidson nav
1 Lt Jack L. Eppendorf bomb
TSgt Hike B. Bagdasian eng/tt gun
TSgt Milton S. Edelstein r/o
SSgt Ralph E. Jacobson btg
SSgt William U. Schaefer wg
SSgt George E. Watrous tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Lts Neu and Davidson were the only survivors.
In the partial crew photo, Bagdasian is 3rd from left.