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William Lester Harper


Assigned to 544BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF. Bill Lotz crew. 30 x combat missions. ETD

Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals.

Post war: Served in Korean conflict.



  • William Lotz

    Military | Major | PIlot | 379th Bomb Group

  • John Yokie

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 2nd Bomb Group
    Transferred from the 15th Air Force 2nd BG 20th BS and assigned to the 384th BG 544th BS on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #38 dated 26 February 1944, as crew pilot. He flew 30 combat missions with the 15th Air Force in Italy prior to being assigned...

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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...

  • 544th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24560 'Little Audrey'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 368BS/306BG [BO-D] New Castle 4/10/42; Thurleigh 26/10/42; transferred 369BS [WW- ]; transferred 544BS/384BG [SU-A] Grafton Underwood 5/9/43; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 15/3/44; Returned to the USA Homestead 14/5/44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-37885 Frostie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 2/10/43; Gr Island 22/10/43; Assigned 544BS/384BG [SU-L] Grafton Underwood 22/11/43 as MRS F. D. R.; then 545BS [JD-D]; Missing in Action Erding 24/4/44 with Virgil Broyhill, Co-pilot: Albt Burns, Navigator: Guy Earle, Bombardier: Jim...

  • 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. ...

  • 42-97188

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8 February 1944; Grand Island 20 February 1944; Grenier 22 March 1944; Assigned 544BS/384BG [SU-A] Grafton Underwood 6 April 1944. ...

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 Newton County, GA 13 April 1923

Son of Abner W and Roxie A Harper.

Enlisted Atlanta, GA 12 September 1942
Based Grafton Underwood November 1943 – May 1944

Assigned to 544BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF.

Promotion Grafton Underwood, UK 18 January 1944

Promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Hospitalised April 1944 – 1944

Hospitalised Apr-44.

Discharged USAAF 18 August 1945

Honourable discharge.

Enlisted 27 September 1950

Enlisted USAF.

Discharged USAF 31 December 1966

Honourable discharge.

Died 11 April 1986
Buried Macedonia Baptist Cemetery, Oxford, Newton County, GA 15 April 1986

Macedonia Baptist Cemetery
Newton County, Georgia