Slater, John F., Sgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 0611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1945-1945, 500th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1945

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner to remember Slater, John F., Sgt.

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
Not Specified
Last Address
Saipan, The Marianas Islands

Casualty Date
May 24, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery - Louisville, Kentucky
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot E, 179

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)Aerial Gunnery School881st Bombardment Group, Very Heavy500th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
  1942-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, M 0611, Aerial Gunnery School
  1945-1945, M 0611, 881st Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
  1945-1945, 500th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)
  1945-1945 Asian-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-29 Superfortress  
  1944-1945, B-29 Superfortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
John F. Slater was born early in 1920, somewhere in Michigan, according to one account. He joined the Army Air Corps on November 6, 1942, and was stationed at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. According to available records, when he enlisted, his residence was given as Hinds County, Mississippi, while his mother's address was given as St. Louis, Missouri, and his wife's address was reportedly Shawnee, Oklahoma.

After basic training, he attended aerial gunnery school, graduating with a gunner rating. He was then assigned to combat air crew training on the B-29 aircraft. After training, he was assigned to the 881st Bomb Squadron of the 500th Bomb Group, operating from air fields on the island of Saipan.

On May 24, 1945, his aircraft was tasked to a mission over the city of Tokyo. Successfully bombing the South Tokyo dock area, the aircraft turned for home, but was struck by flak and eventually crashed into Tokyo Bay. Only one crew member survived to become a POW.

After the war, Graves Registration discovered several sets of human remains in a grave marked "Unknown" in a Japanese military cemetery. These remains were identified as the crew of Slater's B-29. All the remains were placed in a single coffin and buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery. A bronze plaque was mounted over the grave site.


Sgt John F. Slater was the left side gunner on B-29 #42-63486, assigned to the 881st Bomb Squadron, and known as "Z Square 7" from the organizational markings on the vertical stabilizer.

The events of the fatal mission are recorded in full on the Remembrance profile of Captain Eugene M. Thomas, Jr., and will not be duplicated here.

Missing Air Crew Report 14488 applies.

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