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Robert C Ayrest

Military

2nd Lt. Robert C. Ayrest was born on April 21, 1921. His hometown was Inglewood, California. His wife was Mary L. Ayrest, two sons Robert Claud and Howard Donald, and a brother Alan. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity at UCLA.
2nd Lt. Ayrest was the pilot of Crew 5 of the 712th Bomb Squadron, 448th Bomb Group. He flew B-24H-5-FO (42-7733) “LAKI-NUKI” via the southern route from Florida to Seething, England in December 1943. On the flight from Marrakech, North Africa to England bad weather and Germans jamming radio communications led to an attempt to land at a German-held airfield in the Brest Peninsula of France. The aircraft received severe damage from enemy flak and Co-pilot 2nd Lt. Litman was wounded. Pilot 2nd Lt. Ayrest and the crew were able to land the aircraft at Preddannack, Cornwall. “LAKI-NUKI” caught fire after landing and was destroyed.
On 10 Feb 1944 Crew 11 of the 712th Bomb Squadron was the scheduled to fly "Boomerang" (42-52132) when they told to stand down and that Crew 5 would be flying the mission to Gilz-Rijen, Holland. “Boomerang” crashed 2 miles west of Tibenham due to bad weather and violent maneuvering to avoid a mid-air collision. 2nd Lt. Ayrest was killed in the crash. He is buried in the American Cemetery at Cambridge, England.

Service

Units served with

  • 2nd Air Division

    2nd Air Division

    Division
    In December 1944, the 2nd Bomb Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

  • 20th Combat Bomb Wing

    20th Combat Bomb Wing

    Wing
    Prewar bombardment wing in the northwest. Moved to England, May–June 1943, for duty with Eighth Air Force. Received its first groups in November 1943 and served in combat in the European theater from December 1943 until April 1945. Returned to the US...

  • 448th Bomb Group

    448th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 448th Bombardment Group was organized on 6 April 1943 and activated on 1 May 1943 at Gowen Field, near Boise, Idaho. The initial training of the air crews took place in Florida. The entire group was assembled Wendover Field, Utah. Both air and...

  • 712th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-52132 "Boomerang"

    B-24 Liberator
    Liberator B-24H-10-FO (42-52132) was assigned to Crew 11 of the 712th Bomb Squadron, 448th Bomb Group in October 1943. It was named "Boomerang" by the crew when they arrived at Forbes Field, Kansas to take ownership after their training was completed....

  • 42-7733 “LAKI-NUKI”

    B-24 Liberator
    In December 1943 Crew 5 of the 712th Bomb Squadron, 448th Bomb Group flew B-24H-5-FO (42-7733) “LAKI-NUKI” via the southern route from Florida to Seething, England. On the flight to England from Marrakech, North Africa bad weather and Germans jamming...

Associated Place

  • Seething

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1942-43 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, Seething had three concrete runways, 51 hardstandings of both loop and 'frying-pan’ types, and two T2 hangars, one on each side of the airfield. It was home to the 448th Bomb Group, equipped with...

  • Tibenham

    Military site : airfield
    Tibenham was built in 1941-1942 by W and C French Ltd with a standard 2,000 yard main runway, and two other runways both 1,400 feet in length. Accommodation was provided for a full USAAF heavy bomber group in dispersed sites. Personnel of the 320th...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Inglewood, CA, USA 21 April 1921
Died Tibenham, Norwich, Norfolk NR16, UK 10 February 1944
Buried

2ndLT Ayrest is buried in the American Cemetery at Cambridge, England.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2021 20:20:46 dmccullo Changes to unit associations
Sources

Updated connections.

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2021 20:19:00 dmccullo Changes to biography
Sources

Updated biography.

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2021 02:00:21 dmccullo Changes to media associations
Sources

Added photo.

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2021 19:48:43 dmccullo Changes to media associations
Sources

Added media.

Date Contributor Update
27 August 2020 06:36:55 dmccullo Changes to biography
Sources

Updated biography.

Date Contributor Update
26 August 2020 20:39:34 dmccullo Changes to biography
Sources

Updated biography.

Date Contributor Update
26 August 2020 20:37:48 dmccullo Changes to biography
Sources

Updated biography.

Date Contributor Update
26 August 2020 06:34:22 dmccullo Changes to person associations
Sources

Updated Connections.

Date Contributor Update
26 August 2020 06:13:00 dmccullo Changes to biography
Sources

Updated Biography.

Date Contributor Update
26 August 2020 06:11:08 dmccullo Changes to biography, events, person associations and place associations
Sources

Updated biography for Robert Ayrest.

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2015 02:57:00 WW2 Researcher Bill Beigel Changes to biography and events
Sources

IDPF and/or crash report researched by Bill Beigel. IDPF donated to American Air Museum by Bill Beigel. For more information about this flyer, you may contact http://ww2research.com.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:23:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / SO#150, 6th Heavy Bomb.Proc HQ, Herington, Kansas 5 Nov 43; Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I, p. 418

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