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Obert Merle Lay


Assigned to 547BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF. Harry Neville crew. 30 x combat missions. Completed Tour.

Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.



  • Harry Neville

    Military | Colonel | Pilot/Director of Materiel | 384th Bomb Group

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...

  • 547th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-102449

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/44; Gr Island 22/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-R] Grafton Underwood 16/4/44; battle damaged Cologne 10/11/44 with ?; force landed continent; Sal; Returned to the USA Bradley 4/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains,...

  • 42-38013 "NEVADA AVENGER"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; New Castle 10/12/43; Presque Is 15/12/43; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-C] Grafton Underwood 21/1/44; sal battle damaged 27/4/44. NEVADA AVENGER. ...

  • 42-97150 'SILVER QUEEN'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/2/44; Kearney 16/2/44; Presque Is 26/2/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-F] Grafton Underwood 12/3/44; 544BS [SU-F]; force landed continent 10/1/45; Salvaged. SILVER QUEEN.

  • 42-97201

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/2/44; Kearney 27/2/44; Grenier 20/3/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-J] Grafton Underwood 31/3/44; t/o training mission 22/7/44 with Fred Griggs, Co-pilot: Frank Gyory, Navigator: Gordon Hermanford, InsP-Chas Hale, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-97592

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 31/12/43; 1SAG Langley 13/1/44; Assigned 544BS/384BG [SU-Y] Grafton Underwood 1/3/44, 547BS [SO-Y]; transferred (H2X) 457BG Glatton 9/5/45; 422BS/305BG [JJ-T] Chelveston 23/5/45; Salvaged 9AF Germany 3/4/46.

  • 44-6149 HOT AFTER IT

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 14/5/44; Kearney 26/5/44; Dow Fd 1/6/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-U] Grafton Underwood 12/6/44; Missing in Action Koblenz 11/10/44 with Max Levine, Jerome Williams, George Trlica, Bill Allen (4 Killed in Action); Dale Yeoman, Bob Gilroy...

  • 44-8008

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 12/5/44; Langley 26/6/44; Grenier 9/7/44; Assigned 385BG [---Q] Gt Ashfield 10/7/44; transferred 544BS/384BG [SU-Y] Grafton Underwood 13/8/44; Missing in Action Plauen 19/3/45 with Bill Kramer, Emmett Culhane, Chas Fell, Walt Robitzki,...

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
Born Aurora, IL 24 January 1923

Son of Arthur E and Lillian B Lay.

Based Grafton Underwood June 1944 – December 1944

Assigned to 547BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF.

Landing accident RTD Grafton Underwood, UK 22 July 1944

B-17 42‑97201 landing accident RTD 22-Jul-44.

Promotion Grafton Underwood, UK 27 July 1944

Promoted to Tech Sergeant.

Died 25 December 2012
Buried Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Lemay, St. Louis County, MO 28 December 2012

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
St. Louis County, Missouri


Date Contributor Update
07 September 2020 14:02:11 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2020 20:02:14 decwriter Changes to awards

NARA file verified Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters.

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2020 20:00:27 Al_Skiff Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2020 19:55:39 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
11 November 2017 15:32:13 Lucy May Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
21 March 2017 05:17:40 bombercommand Changes to service number, highest rank and place associations

2017-03-21 Information from duplicate AAM File was consolidated in this file.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:44 AAM AAM ingest

AAIR 44-07-22-524 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database