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Darrell Ward Latch


Born 13 Nov 1924 in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois; sent by draft board in March 1943 to army induction center for possible induction; entered service the same month; trained at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri; Franklin Technical Institue in Boston, Massachusetts; Peterson Field, Colorado; and Tonopah, Nevada; sent overseas January 1944; assigned as aerial gunner on a B-24 Liberator piloted by Captain Charles S. "Sam" Evans; completed 25 (of the 30 required) combat missions as of 1 December 1944; discharged at Scott Field, Illinois, September 1945.

He was a budding musician, playing in both his high school band and orchestra, and was also in at least one high school play. After his service, he was employed primarily in the insurance industry.

Died 30 Mar 1997 in Omaha, Nebraska, at age 72.



  • Charles Evans

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 458th Bomb Group
    The 50-page description of CPT Evans' military service is found at (as listed in

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Units served with

  • 458th Bomb Group

    458th Bomb Group

    The 458th Bomb Group (H) entered combat with the 8th Air Force in February 1944. Based at Horsham St. Faith in England, the combat crews participated in the decisive Campaigns 'Big Week', 'Big B', D-Day and the assault on Germany's oil industry waged...

  • 753rd Bomb Squadron
  • 755th Bomb Squadron


  • 44-40281 A Dog's Life

    B-24 Liberator
    A Dog's Life crashed on 13th February 1945 during a training mission, with the loss of all onboard crew. The crash is one of two recorded on the memorial plaque in Church Street, Old Catton, Norwich.

  • 41-28697 'Spotted Ass Ape'

    B-24 Liberator
    Had a troublesome career of seven missions with the 754th Squadron before being converted for assembly ship duties. Flew from May 44 until 9 Mar 45 when an undercarriage leg collapsed and crashed.

  • 42-110141 Breezy Lady/Superman/Marie

    B-24 Liberator
    It retained the name BREEZY LADY as painted on the pilot's side when transferred to the 458th BG. SUPERMAN was added onto the co-pilot's side. Later the BREEZY LADY side was renamed MARIE.


  • Tactical bombing mission, 458th BG

    20 July 1944
    42 A/C of the 458th BG were assigned a primary target at Eisenach (armament factories). Cloud cover resulted in the formation attacking targets of opportunity with fair to good results.

  • 562

    18 August 1944
    We led the Wing to France to bomb a fuel dump. Made 3 runs on the target. We hit it on the third run. Major Harmon flew Pilot; 12000 feet altitude.

Associated Place

  • Horsham St Faith

    Military site : airfield
    Horsham St Faith was an RAF Bomber Command Station opened in June 1940. It was home to Bristol Blenheim medium-bombers, and was for a time occupied by fighters, including those of No. 19 Squadron and No. 264 Squadron. From September 1942 the airfield...


Event Location Date
Born Illinois, USA 13 November 1924
Lived in Macon County, IL, USA 1943
Enlisted Peoria, IL, USA 9 March 1943
Died Omaha, NE, USA 30 March 1997
Buried Omaha, NE, USA 2 April 1997

Hillcrest/Westlawn Cemetery
5701 Center Street
Omaha, NE 68106


Date Contributor Update
26 August 2016 00:33:09 466thHistorian Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
01 June 2016 23:48:58 466thHistorian Changes to suffix, role, events, unit associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 01:37:31 leoneranger Changes to media associations

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 21:25:50 leoneranger Changes to mission associations

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 21:03:25 leoneranger Changes to place associations

Decatur (Illinois) Review, 28 Dec 1944

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 20:56:41 leoneranger Changes to biography

The Decatur Herald, 26 Jun 1967

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 20:50:27 leoneranger Changes to role

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 20:45:49 leoneranger Changes to biography

Decatur (Illinois) Daily Review, 2 Mar 1943; 27 Jul 1943; 28 Dec 1944; 8 Mar 1945; 26 Sep 1945

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 20:17:46 leoneranger Changes to service number, highest rank and role

Decatur (Illinois) Daily Review 17 Jan 1943; 2 Mar 1943; 27 Jul 1943; 28 Dec 1944; 8 Mar 1945; 26 Sep 1945

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2016 19:45:43 leoneranger Changes to middlename, suffix and awards

Decatur (Illinois) Daily Review, 17 Jan 1943; 2 Mar 1943; 28 Dec 1944; 8 Mar 1945; 26 Sep 1945

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:06:56 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Page 326 in the book SECOND AIR DIVISION by Turner Publishing Company, 1998 edition, D790.A2S45