Last Known Activity
According to his enlistment record, Nahannie Bader was born in Massachusetts in 1919. He enlisted in Boston as a private in the Army Air Forces on January 17, 1942. He had completed 4 years of high school.
He received basic training and was assigned to aerial gunnery school. Upon completion of this course, he was assigned to the newly-activated 351st Bomb Group at Geiger Field, Washington. Inclement weather prevented full-time flying training, so the unit was moved to Biggs Field, Texas, to prepare for overseas deployment.
As a member of a combat crew, Bader deployed with this unit to Polebrook RAF Station in England, arriving in November 1942. Combat crew training continued until the crew was certified and assigned to a bombing mission. Their first mission was flown on May 13, 1943, but they received no credit as the aircraft suffered a mechanical failure and the run was aborted. Five more missions were quickly flown, with the last on May 29, 1943.
This was to be a strike against the submarine pens at St. Naizare, France. Shortly after the bombs were dropped, flak knocked out two engines. Fighters attacked, and as they withdrew, a flak shell burst in the open bomb bay, the doors not yet closed. This blast killed three gunners, and the aircraft went into a dive.
The remaining crew members managed to bail out, but were captured upon landing.
SSgt Nahannie Bader is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery at St. James, France. He lies in Plot H, Row 1, Grave 13.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
USAAF Accident Reports
SSgt Nahannie Bader was in the position of left waist gunner on B-17 # 42-29838, nicknamed "Concho Clipper," assigned to the 509th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16399 and mission loading lists state the crew was composed of:
Lt Col J. Russell, Jr p
F/O Leo Griketas c-p
2 Lt Roy P. Stealey nav
2 Lt Charles B. Woerhle bomb
SSgt Charles T. Eaton eng/tt gun
TSgt James E. Welk r/o
TSgt Wayne I. Baldwin btg
SSgt Nahannie Bader lwg
SSgt Maurice A. McLaughlin rwg
SSgt Frederick D. Williams, Jr tail gun
Sgts Welk, Bader, and Baldwin were killed; the others were captured.
Some loading lists give another crew member as Lt C.J. Russell, pilot. Most lists do not have this. It is either a regularly assigned pilot who didn't fly the mission, or a misinterpretation of Col. Russell's name. There is no record for Lt Russell as POW.