Abernathy, William D., 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1034-Navigator
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1943-1944, M 1034, 728th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Second Lieutenant

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Abernathy, William D., 2nd Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Palo Pinto
Last Address
Deopham Green, England

Casualty Date
Apr 09, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Baltic Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

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  1943-1943, M 1034, 452nd Bombardment Group, Heavy

Second Lieutenant
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- / 1943
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452nd Bombardment Group, Heavy Unit Page
Second Lieutenant
M 1034-Navigator
Deopham Green
United Kingdom
 452nd Bombardment Group, Heavy Details

452nd Bombardment Group, Heavy


ned 8th AAF: January 1944


This phrase was popularly used by many of the guys within the Group when something happened that wasn't exactly to their benefit. Ground crew member Dale Hunter remembers one crew naming their plane because of this phrase. The 452nd Bomb Group had two planes by this name. The first one was piloted by Otis L. Stogsdill and was among those planes that crashed on the May 12, 1944, mission to Brux. The second plane flew later in the War and probably had several different pilots. The artwork on the nose for the later plane had one of the most detailed nose art of any 452nd Bomb Group plane. It featured a reclining redhead damsel that was almost an exact replica of the centerfold painting that appeared in the February 1941 issue of Esquire magazine titled "Lullaby For A Dream". It is unknown if the original plane with this name featured any nose art. Planes #42-97143 and #43-39143.


When the original crews were still in training in Pyote, Texas, they would often enjoy a late night of drinking and dancing at a hall and beer parlor at the small town of Monahans. One pilot, Herman �??Butch�?? Beuchat, would often have trouble getting his copilot Everett Phillips out of bed the next morning. On one particular morning Beuchat was trying to get Phillips to wake up and Phillips blew in his face. Beuchat replied something like �??Man, you have dog breath!�?? He then paused for a bit and said �??That�??s what we are going to name our plane�??, and they did. Plane #42-31330.


This was a replacement plane for pilot John J. Pesch and co-pilot Joyce C. Amley. Pesch and Amley had earlier survived a German fighter attack which badly damaged their original plane known as �??Four Freedoms�?? on March 23, 1944. Due to the dire situation, the other eight crew members were ordered to bail out while the pilot and copilot struggled to maintain control of the plane. Pesch and Amley eventually crash landed in England. Their feat was outstanding, and being proud young men they thought of themselves as being �??big time operators�??, so they named their next plane this name. They had 8 parachutes painted on this plane in honor of their other crew members who had bailed out of �??Four Freedoms�??. Plane #42-97256.

Wing/Command Assignment

3 BD, 45 CBW 8 Jan 1944 
3 AD, 45 CBW 1 Jan 1945 

Combat Aircraft:

B-17G Stations
DEOPHAM GREEN 3 January 1944 to 5 August 1945
Group COs
Lt. Col. Herbert O. Wangeman 1 June 1943 to 8 February 1944, Aircraft MIA 
Lt. Col. Robert B. Satterwhite 8 February 1944 to 27 February 1944 
Lt. Col. Marvin F. Stalder 28 February 1944 to 29 March 1944 
Col. Thetus C. Odom 30 March 1944 to 24 July 1944 
Col. Archibald Y. Smith 24 July 1944 to 28 July 1944. Aircraft MIA 
Col. William D. Eckert 1 August 1944 to 12 September 1944 
Lt. Col. Charles W. Sherburne 13 September 1944 to 24 September 1944 
Col. Burnham L. Batson 25 September 1944 to 6 June 1945 
Col. Jack E. Shuck 6 June 1945 to July 1945 

First Mission: 5 February 1944 
Last Mission: 21 Apr 1945 
Missions: 250 
Total Sorties: 7,279 
Total Bomb Tonnage: 16,467 Tons 
Aircraft MIA: 110
Major Awards:
Distinguished Unit Citations: 7 April 1945, Kaltenkirchen
Medal of Honor: 1LT Donald J. Gott 9 Nov 1944 
Medal of Honor: 2LT William E. Metzger 9 Nov 1944 

Claims to Fame

More Commanding Officers than any other Bomb Group during the course of hostilities

Early History:

Activated 1 June 1943 at Geiger Field, Washington. Unit was transferred to Rapid City AAB, South Dakota on 15 June 1943 and trained there until early October 1943. Then unit was moved to Pendleton Field Oregon on 11 October 1943 and to Walla Wallla AAFd Washington on the 4th of November 1943. Ground unit left for Camp Shanks New York on the 23rd of December 1943 and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on the 2nd of January 1944, and arrived in Clyde on the 8th of January 1944. The air echelon began overseas movement in early December 1943 via the southern ferry route. Most of the aircraft reached England a few days before the ground units arrived.

Subsequent History:

Redeployed to the US June/August 1945. The air echelon departed the United Kingdom late June 1945. Ground echelon sailed on the Queen Elizabeth from Greenock on the 5th of August 1945, and arrived in New York on the 11th of August 1945. The unit established at Sioux Falls AAFd, South Dakota where the Group was inactivated on the 28th of August 1945. 

Combat - Bomber Units
Parent Unit
Bombardment Units
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2011
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
16 Members Also There at Same Time
452nd Bombardment Group, Heavy

Oxrider, George J., Maj, (1941-1944) M10 M 1060 Major
Oxrider, George J., Maj, (1941-1944) M10 M 1091 Captain
Colvin, Jake Stone, 1st Lt, (1942-1944) M10 M 1091 First Lieutenant
Gott, Donald Joseph, 1st Lt, (1942-1944) M10 M 1091 First Lieutenant
Thomas, Eugene Carlton, Lt Col, (1941-1973) M10 M 1091 First Lieutenant
Huffman, Billy L., 1st Lt, (1942-1944) M27 M 0273 Second Lieutenant
Julius, Elmer P., 2nd Lt, (1942-1944) M27 M 0273 Second Lieutenant
Tomlinson, George E., 2nd Lt, (1942-1944) M27 M 0273 Second Lieutenant
Dunlap, Robert A., TSgt, (1943-1944) M75 M 0755 Technical Sergeant
Jones, Bill, SSgt, (1942-1945) M61 M 0611 Staff Sergeant
Krimminger, Herman Bruce, SSgt, (1943-1944) M61 M 0611 Staff Sergeant
Ridge, Wymond B., SSgt, (1943-1944) M73 M 0737 Staff Sergeant
Brady, John B., Sgt, (1943-1944) M61 M 0611 Sergeant
McLaughlin, John C., SSgt, (1942-1944) M61 M 0612 Sergeant
McLaughlin, John C., SSgt, (1942-1944) M61 M 0612 Sergeant
Parker, James E., SSgt, (1942-1944) M61 M 0611 Sergeant
Raley, Raymond E., SSgt, (1942-1944) M61 M 0611 Sergeant
Gilgun, John J., SSgt, (1941-1945) Staff Sergeant

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