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Elijah Wayne Lewis


Flew on AC # 42-32024 'Swamp Fire' On 28 May 1944 flew 'Grapefruit Mission''Today was the day that the 379th was chosen as one of the three groups to try a new secret weapon. The much talked about glider bombs. They were released on the city of Cologne with good and devastating results. Of the 120 released by 60 aircraft, 80% found their mark. ' This turned out to be more fairy tale than fact. Most adamant statement from historians and those who were on the mission claimed only one of these bombs hit in the city of Cologne. Most accounts prepared since the war claim none of the bombs reached the target

Awards: DFC, AM (4OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.



  • Joseph Korstjens

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x combat missions. ETD ...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 524th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-32024 Swamp Fire

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Swamp Fire was the first Heavy Bomber to reach 100 Missions - "Without an Abort" for the 379th BG. She was chosen to participate in the 28 May 1944 top secret "Grapefruit" mission to drop Americans first Glide bomb 20+ miles from the primary target of...

Associated Place

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....


Event Location Date
Born Elizabethtown, Hardin County, KY 27 January 1917

Son of Claude B and Lelia Lewis.

Draft reistration shows DOB 26-Jan-1927. Headstone and markers confirm 27-Jan-1917.

Enlisted Louisville, KY 15 September 1942

Louisville, Kentucky

Based Kimbolton 1944 – 1944

Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Elizabethtown, KY 27 December 1969
Buried Elizabethtown Memorial Gardens Elizabethtown, Hardin County, KY January 1970

Elizabethtown Memorial Gardens
Hardin County, KY


Date Contributor Update
18 May 2019 05:31:30 Al_Skiff Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
17 May 2019 19:46:54 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:49 AAM AAM ingest

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