Last Known Activity
Alvin G. Bader was born in North Dakota on November 2, 1921. His parents were Jacob and Lydia Weller Bader. According to records, he married Lorraine Oldham at Forsythe, Montana on 31 January, 1942. She is listed on the MACR as his next of kin, with an address in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He was drafted and inducted at Butte, Montana on August 6, 1942. His enlistment record states he had completed 1 year of college (unnamed), was married, and was employed in an unskilled occupation within the transportation industry.
He received training as a radio operator, and was soon deployed to England and assigned to the 351st Bomb Squadron where he made 21 credited combat missions in the period 11 April 1944 and 30 June 1944. He flew mostly as a radio operator and once was utilized as a waist gunner, but he was given a special assignment. He was assigned (apparently on Detached Service) to Headquarters Squadron, 303rd Bomb for for duty as a Voice Intercept Operator.
A Voice Intercept Operator (sometimes referred to as a "Y" or "S" operator) was a German-speaking radio operator who, with special equipment, monitored the Luftwaffe air control channels and gave advice to bomber groups. They were mostly used on Lead or Deputy Lead aircraft.
On November 2, 1944, he was assigned this duty to the Deputy Lead crew for a mission against the synthetic oil plants at Sterkrade, Germany. Just after the bombardier released all bombs over the target, the aircraft was struck by flak shells.
The #3 engine was blown away, as was part of the landing gear. Under control, but with only 3 engines, the pilot set a course for home without the formation. Over the Netherlands, the aircraft went out of control, and began nosing down. The pilot called for bail-out, and the entire crew jumped.
Witnesses on the ground (and German reports) state Bader jumped below 500 feet altitude, and his chute never opened. His body was shown to several witnesses. The remaining crew were all captured, except Lt Davis who evaded until 18 November 1944. All survivors were POWs until war's end.
Bader was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Brummen, Holland in Grave 17. After the war, his body was recovered and moved to the American Cemetery at Margraten, Holland where it lies in Plot H, Row 5, Grave 16.
The Interment Control card was signed by his father, Jacob.
A monument in his memory, erected by local townspeople, was unveiled in Brummen, Holland in 1995 by Nino Guiciardi.
NARA Enlistment Records
US Dept of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death Files, 1850-2010
Interment Control card (Foreign Cemeteries)
TSgt Alvin G. Bader was a Voice Intercept Operator assigned to B-17G 42-97781, named "The 8 Ball Mk III," assigned to the 359th Bomb Squadron. Sgt Bader was assigned to Headquarters Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group.
Missing Air Crew Report 10151 and mission loading lists show the entire crew was composed of:
1 Lt Jack T. Davis p
2 Lt Daniel L. Kohlstedt c-p
1 Lt Vernon M. Hellesuig nav
F/O Nino L. Guiciardi bom
Sgt Dave Bloom eng/tt gun
TSgt Rex E. Lewnfield r/o
Sgt Richard A. Martin btg
Sgt Everette G. Harris wg
Sgt Marvin W. Brown tail gun
TSgt Alvin G. Bader VI
Grades and ranks as of mission date.
Because he was filling a temporary duty and assigned not with the Davis crew, no crew photographs of TSgt Bader have been located.
Service Photo Source: