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J.B. Latham

Military

Shot down April 1944 in B-17 #4297465. Prisoner of War (POW).

JB Latham was born July 7, 1916, in Farmersville Texas, and lived there until his enlistment in the U.S. Cavalry. When he completed his tour of duty with the cavalry, he enlisted in the U.S. Army-Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force).

Early in World War II, he underwent advanced pilot training and served as a B-17 pilot in the European theater in England. On April 9, 1944, while on a mission over Gdansk, Poland, he was downed, taken prisoner and held in the Stalag Luft I prisoner of war camp until the end of the war. In 1946, he re-enlisted as a master sergeant in the Air Force and served for 20 years despite numerous health problems related to his days as a POW. He retired from the Air Force on June 30, 1955. He worked at the U.S. Post Office in Grants Pass until 1969, when he retired due to war injuries.

Latham died Thursday, Oct. 3, 1991, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Roseburg. He was survived by his wife, the former Louise Schilling, whom he married May 9, 1942, in Lewiston, Idaho. He enjoyed fishing and watching sports.

Service

Units served with

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

  • 751st Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-97465 "The Scarlet Harlot"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 23/11/43; Wendover 12/12/43; Assigned 751BS/457BG [B] Glatton 9/2/44; Missing in Action Marienburg April 9, 1944 with Robert Walker, Waist gunner: Kneeland Parshley,Tail gunner: Bruce Kustaborder (3 Killed in Action); Co-pilot: JB...

Missions

Associated Place

  • Glatton

    Military site : airfield
    Glatton, which lay mostly in the parish of Conington, was built by the 809th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) of the U.S. Army in the last months of 1942. Unusually, the base's three runways surrounded Rose Court Farm, which remained a working farm...

  • Stalag Luft I

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Farmersville, TX 75442, USA 7 July 1916
Enlisted in U.S. Cavalry (5th Regiment) 31 July 1934 – 3 September 1937

Served three years at Fort Clark, Texas.

Enlisted in U.S. Army Air Corps 28 February 1938
Promoted to Corporal 2 February 1940
Promoted to Sergeant 19 September 1940
Promoted to Staff Sergeant 15 January 1941
Promoted to Technical Sergeant 15 March 1942
Preflight Training Santa Ana Army Air Base 8 June 1942 – 27 July 1942
Primary Pilot Training (Eagle Field) Dos Palos, CA 93620, USA 27 July 1942 – 30 September 1942
Basic Pilot Training Chico, CA, USA 30 September 1942 – 2 December 1942
Advanced Flight Training Stockton, CA, USA 4 December 1942 – January 1942
Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant Stockton, CA, USA 6 February 1943
Service in European Theater Glatton, Huntingdon PE28, UK 25 March 1944 – 7 July 1945

Departed from U.S. on Feb. 8, 1944 to European Theater (ETO) and arrived March 25, 1944. Departed Europe on July 7, 1945 and arrived in U.S. on July 25, 1945. Total: 1 year, 5 months and 7 days.

Prisoner of War (POW) Barth, Germany 9 April 1944 – 8 May 1945

JB Latham held at Stalag Luft I POW camp.

Promoted to First Lieutenant 6 February 1946
Retired from military Grants Pass, OR, USA 30 June 1955
Lived in Grants Pass, OR, USA 1956 – 1991
Died Roseburg, OR, USA 3 October 1991

JB Latham Obituary

JB Latham, 75, of Grants Pass died Thursday, Oct. 3, 1991, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Roseburg.

A private memorial service for the family was held with Hull & Hull Funeral Directors in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of choice.

After cremation, the deceased's ashes will be spread over the Port of Brookings.

He was born July 7, 1916, in Farmersville Texas, and lived there until his enlistment in the U.S. Cavalry. When he completed his tour of duty with the cavalry, he enlisted in the U.S. Army-Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force).

Early in World War II, he underwent advanced pilot training and served as a B-17 pilot in the European theater in England. On April 9, 1944, while on a mission over Gdansk, Poland, he was downed, taken prisoner and held in the Stalag Luft I prisoner of war camp until the end of the war. In 1946, he re-enlisted as a master sergeant in the Air Force and served for 20 years despite numerous health problems related to his days as a POW. He retired from the Air Force on June 30, 1955.

He worked at the U.S. Post Office in Grants Pass until 1969, when he retired due to war injuries.

He is survived by his wife, the former Louise Schilling, whom he married May 9, 1942, in Lewiston, Idaho.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, James M. Latham of Grants Pass and Patrick A. Latham of Medford, his brothers Bill Latham of Huntsville, Ala., Melvin Latham and Frank Latham of Farmersville; and sisters, Gay Rogers, Bonnie Rogers and Ola Stanford, all of Farmersville. His daughter, Midge Williams, preceded him in death in September 1990.

--Grants Pass Daily Courier (October 7, 1991)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 June 2017 14:24:44 Lucy May Changes to place associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Source:
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Flak Dodger by Roland Byers; MACR 3665

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 06:39:43 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

Family records

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 06:07:48 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

Family records

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 06:06:33 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

Family records

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 04:00:25 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

Family records.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 03:14:26 Grants Pass Changes to firstname
Sources

J.B. Latham records.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 01:07:28 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

JB Latham records.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 00:56:55 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

JB Latham records.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 00:52:42 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

JB Latham's Records

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2017 00:48:07 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

JB Latham's records.

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2017 21:28:19 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

Military Record and Report of Separation, Certificate of Service, J.B. Latham (January 6, 1947)

Enlisted Record of J.B. Latham

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2017 21:08:15 Grants Pass Changes to awards and events
Sources

Military Record and Report of Separation, Certificate of Service, J.B. Latham (January 6, 1947)

Enlisted Record of J.B. Latham

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2017 18:31:52 Grants Pass Changes to highest rank and events
Sources

J.B. Latham records

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2017 21:53:07 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

JB Latham Obituary

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2017 21:50:51 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

JB Latham Obituary

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2017 21:45:51 Grants Pass Changes to media associations
Sources

Latham family.

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2017 21:44:10 Grants Pass Changes to biography
Sources

JB Latham Obituary (Grants Pass Daily Courier, Oct. 7, 1991)

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2017 21:32:35 Grants Pass Changes to events
Sources

According to Ralph Sirianni, author of the memoir "POW #3959," the Russians liberated Stalag Luft I on May 1, 1945. (McFarland and Company Publishers, 2006, Page 127).

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2017 21:11:56 Grants Pass Changes to biography and events
Sources

JB Latham obituary, Grants Pass Daily Courier (Oct. 7, 1991)

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2017 06:25:31 Grants Pass Changes to middlename and firstname
Sources

Family records.

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2017 06:23:02 Grants Pass Changes to biography
Sources

Family records, newspaper article (Grants Pass Daily Courier, Oct. 7, 1991)

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2017 06:18:03 Grants Pass Changes to surname, service number and biography
Sources

Family records.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:13:37 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 3665 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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