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Orlando Cartford Asper


Orlando “Ole” Cartford Asper was born in Kikungshan, Henan Province, China on 13 June 1917, to Lutheran Missionary parents. Returning to the United States, he attended Pacific Lutheran College, in Parkland, Washington.

Orlando enlisted on 26-January-1942 at Portland Airbase in Oregon. He joined the Army Air Corps Cadet Program at Army Air Forces Advance Flying School, Stockton Field, California on 26 January 1942, qualifying as a pilot in November 1942. From May 1943, he served as a co-pilot, flying B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of 96th Bomb Group, 413th Bomb Squadron, from Snetterton Heath, England. He completed 31 missions with the 96th.

After completing his tour, in October 1943, he returned to the U.S.A. as a Pilot Instructor, before returning to Europe as a 1st Lieutenant, piloting twin engine aircraft passenger flights for European Air Transport Service. He also served as Administrative Officer for 8 months in 1946-47, duties including meeting and greeting dignitaries at Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany.

Appointed a Captain in the U.S.A.F. Reserve on 1 April 1948, he re-joined U.S.A.F. 7th Division Strategic Air Command as an Admin Officer in January 1951 and retired on 30 September 1965 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

In civilian life, ‘Ole’ taught biology and science in York High School, Nebraska, and also taught at the University of Washington in Seattle. He later worked as an engineer for Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle, where he worked on numerous projects, including hovercraft and hydrofoils; he also worked as a nuclear waste engineer for Westinghouse at Hanford Nuclear Plant in Richland, WA. He died on 3 April 1986, in Seattle, Washington.


Units served with


  • 42-30872 Blonde Bomber Betty Grable

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/8/43; Gr Isle 31/8/43; Assigned 337BS/96BG [AW-R] Snetterton 9/9/43; Missing in Action Bremen 16/12/43 with Lew Kerrick, Co-pilot: George Bleyle, Navigator: Lloyd Thompson, Bombardier: Floyd Eakman, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-3180 Kiplings Error and Forget Me Not II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/3/43; Presque Is 2/5/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG Andrews Field KIPLING'S ERROR 3/5/43; transferred 535BS/381BG [MS-Y] Ridgewell 16/7/43; Missing in Action 12+m Anklam 9/10/43 with Herb Carqueville, Co-pilot: Bob Parsons, Navigator:...

  • 42-5885 Kipling's Error III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 20/4/43; Lowry 5/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/5/43; Dow Fd 2/6/43; Assigned 338BS/96BG [BX-T] Snetterton 12/6/43; Missing in Action Rostock 11/4/44 with Harry Johnson, Co-pilot: Luther Bailey, Navigator: Herb Springer, Bombardier: Bill...

Associated Place

  • Snetterton Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Intended to be an RAF bomber base, construction of Snetterton Heath started in Autumn 1942 but continued until mid-1943, because it was extended after allocation as an Eighth Air Force bomber base. It had eventually three concrete runways, 50...

  • Wiesbaden

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Kikungshan, Henan Province, China 13 June 1917

Son of Olaf Asper.

Enlisted Portland AAF, OR 26 January 1942
Based Snetterton Heath 1943 – 1944

Assigned to 413BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Seattle, WA 3 April 1986

3 April 1986, in Seattle, Washington

Buried Washington Coastline 6 April 1986

Ashes scattered of Washington Coastline.


Date Contributor Update
19 February 2022 14:44:24 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, role, biography, awards and events

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2022 22:05:07 Douglas P Changes to media associations

Media associations

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2022 22:04:05 Douglas P Changes to nickname, service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and media associations

The Eighth Air Force Historical Society
96th BG website and FB page

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:49 AAM AAM ingest

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