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Donald Lawrence Grant

Military

Donald Lawrence “Larry” Grant was born March 20, 1920 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the oldest of four children born to Donald Buford Grant and Altha Lena Sellars. The family moved several times around the Midwest during his youth, before finally settling in Sullivan, Illinois shortly after Altha’s death from tuberculosis in 1932.
He was a star athlete at Sullivan High School, starting at center for the football team, and doubled as a sports reporter for the local paper, the Progress. After graduating in 1937, he continued his athletic exploits at Eureka (Ill.) College, where he played baseball and football, serving as captain of the football team his senior year.
He enlisted in the Army Air Force September 25, 1941. Shortly before enlisting, Larry married Mabel Eathel Martin, a classmate from high school and a local teacher. Sadly, their marriage was short lived and their divorce would be finalized about a month before his death.
His first combat tour came as a member of the 303rd Bombardment Group (358th Bomb Squadron) stationed in Molesworth, England. Serving as a navigator, he flew with the crews of George Oxrider and Robert O’Connor. He completed his 25-mission tour in May of 1943 and returned to the States.
Upon returning home, Larry was made an instructor, a position which didn’t sit well with him. He volunteered for a second combat tour and was sent to Italy. He was serving as a radar navigator for the 484th Bombardment Group (826th Bomb Squadron) when his B-17 was shot down on a mission to Munich on June 9, 1944. The plane crashed into the Adriatic Sea with all aboard killed. Larry was survived by his father, sister and two brothers. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy.

Service

People

  • Robert O'Connor

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    1st Lieutenant Robert S. O’Connor was born October 16, 1918. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur O’Connor. His hometown was Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ...

  • George Oxrider

    Military | Major | Co-Pilot; Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Sep-42 Assigned as Pilot, with crew, of B-17F 41-24606 [VK-H] "Werewolf", 303BG/358BS at Kellogg, Field, Battle Creek, Michigan with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 10-Oct-42 moved with "Werewolf" and crew to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine in preparation for...

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Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 358th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24606 Werewolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-27-BO 41-24606 "Werewolf" was assigned 358BG/303BG [VK-H] Kellog Field, Battle Creek, Michigan on 14-Sep-42; Arrived at Molesworth, UK 16-Oct-42. ...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Lived in Sullivan, IL 61951, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 April 2019 04:35:31 andrew.fiddyment Changes to biography
Sources

personal research

Date Contributor Update
05 April 2019 04:20:49 andrew.fiddyment Changes to biography
Sources

Personal Research

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2019 03:54:17 andrew.fiddyment Changes to service number, biography and person associations
Sources

Personal Research

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2019 04:00:38 andrew.fiddyment Changes to middlename and highest rank
Sources

af

Date Contributor Update
10 June 2016 11:07:39 Lucy May Changes to biography and events
Sources

Added information from captions of Freeman images.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:37 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. 1 by BIshop and Hey p. 66, 303rd web site with picture of crew , Roster

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