Kirkpatrick, Ward M., SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Kirkpatrick, Ward M., SSgt.

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
Kalispell, MT
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron

Casualty Date
May 15, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
North Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments
Aerial Gunnery School303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1942, Aerial Gunnery School
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 611, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  194-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
According to his NARA enlistment form, Ward M. Kirkpatrick was born in 1923 in Montana. However, the U.S. Census (1930) lists him as being 5 years old. Likewise, the U.S. Census of 1940 lists him as being 15. His parents were Warren and Vivian Kirkpatrick. His enlistment form states he enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps in Missoula, Montana on December 28, 1941.

After basic training, he under went training in flexible aerial gunnery training, and became so proficient he was retained as an instructor until fall of 1942 when he was shipped to England and assigned to the 303rd Bomb Group.

He flew on 13 combat missions, with four different pilots. Then, he flew on all missions by Lt. Jaques' crew. On May 15, 1943, he was part of a raid on the Heligoland Islands. The formation was attacked by up to 75 German fighters, resulting in a running fight from landfall to target to the return route.

His aircraft was last seen at 24,000 feet, being attacked by a number of enemy fighters. It was shot down, crashing into the North Sea just west of Scharnhorn Island. There were no survivors.

Sergeant Kirkpatrick is remembered at the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England on The Walls of the Missing.

NOTE: One family source states he flew 24 missions. The records of the 303rd Bomb Group do not support this claim. This same source gives his middle initial as "W."
U.S. Census 1930
U.S. Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records


SSgt Kirkpatrick was acting as the ball turret gunner on B-17F #42-29481, unnamed and without nose art, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 15515 was issued. This, and loading lists, state the crew members were:

1 Lt Chester D. Jaques     p
1 Lt Alvin D. Holder     c-p
1 Lt John W. Bradshaw, Jr.    nav
2 Lt Robert C.A. Carlson    bomb
TSgt Lester O. Corns    eng/tt gun
Sgt  Warren T. Vasel     r/o
SSgt Ward M. Kirkpatrick     btg
Sgt  Clayton W. Ryan     lwg
SSgt Warren G. Morrison     rwg
SSgt Keith L. Clapshaw    tail gun

The crew photo is of the Hagenbuch crew after an earlier mission. SSgt Kirkpatrick is in the front row, 3rd from left.

Service photo source:

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