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Edward Field


Edward Field served as a navigator with the 384th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Grafton Underwood. On 3 February 1945, he was flying in B-17 'The Challenger' #42-102501 when the pilots were forced to ditch it in the North Sea. Field was one of six crew who were rescued and returned to duty. Three of the crew did not survive. Field would fly 27 missions over occupied Europe.

After the war, Edward became a poet and author, and lived in New York during its bohemian heyday. He has written a memoir called 'The Man Who Would Marry Susan Sontag And Other Intimate Portraits of the Bohemian Era' (2005). He wrote 'the Village was the first taste of relaxing and just being myself that I had ever known - the need to hide being gay unnecessary - and it was exhilarating.'

Read more about his life and the people met here:

Sometimes he wrote about his wartime experiences, and about surviving in the freezing cold North Sea. You can read one of his poems here:

On 10 July 2017, he became the 146th 384th Bomb Group veteran to sign the Association's commemorative wing panel.



  • Jack Cook

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Crashed into North Sea in Plane 'The Challenger #42-102501. He used his legs to act as a propeller to get the raft with most of crew moved over to the one with the pilot in it. However before the British rescued them he died. Through his efforts he...

  • Coman Leavenworth

    Military | Ground officer | 491st Bomb Group
    Coman Leavenworth was a published poet before the war. He had studied at Columbia University. During the war he met airman Edward Field, who later became a poet. ...

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Units served with

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 546th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-102501 The Challenger

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/3/44; Gr Island 11/4/44; Dowe Fd 28/4/44; Assigned 546BS/384BG [BK-H] Grafton Underwood 12/5/44; Missing in Action Berlin 3/2/45 with Robert Clax Long, Frederick Arnold Maki, Jack Coleman Cook (3 Killed in Action); Ralph John Vrana...


  • 817

    3 February 1945

Associated Place

  • Grafton Underwood

    Military site : airfield
    Grafton Underwood was built in 1941 by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. It was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. As a satellite airfield for...


Event Location Date
Assigned Grafton Underwood NN14, UK 9 January 1945

Assigned to the 384th Bombardment Group, 546th Bombardment Squadron on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #8 dated 9 January 1945, Robert Clax Long Crew. 27 combat missions.

Survived aircraft ditching in the North Sea 3 February 1945
Lived in New York, NY, USA 1946

Studied at NYU on the GI Bill


Date Contributor Update
02 March 2018 13:53:49 Lucy May Changes to biography and events

Date Contributor Update
22 May 2017 21:09:28 bombercommand Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations, mission associations and media associations

2017-0522 information from duplicate AAM file was moved to this file.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:11 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /