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Fred E Abigt


Fred Abigt was aboard B-17 #44-8302 as a photographer when it crashed on 9 November 1944 near Hern, Germany. He was taken as a Prisoner of War (POW). He was a Corporal at the time of his capture but by the end of the war he held the higher rank of Staff Sergeant.

After hearing Reverend Billy Graham speak, he moved to St Paul, Minnesota to attend Northwestern college, where Graham was President between 1948 and 1952. It was here he met his future wife Ruth. Their daughter Lorraine was born in 1956. They had two other children, Bill and Carrie. He joined the Collins Radio Co. in Cedar Rapids in 1959, and became an Engineering Lab. technician.

The family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1958 and Fred got a job at the aviation technology company Rockwell Collins where he was to work for the next 30 years. He died in 2013. He was predeceased by his daughter Lorraine who had died in 1998. His wife Ruth survives him as do Bill and Carrie.


Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 561st Bomb Squadron


  • 44-8302 Vagabond Lady

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 3/8/44; Long Beach 10/8/44; Hunter 15/8/44; Dow Fd 1/9/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 14/9/44; Missing in Action Saarbrucken 9/11/44 with Louis B Panther, Carl Johnson, Ernie Baker, Bill Broad, Alonzo Sullivan, Tony Rosetano,...

Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...


Event Location Date
Born Evansville, IN, USA 14 November 1924
Enlisted Evansville, IN, USA 10 April 1943
Prisoner of War (POW) Herne, Germany 9 November 1944 – 6 June 1945
Died Cedar Rapids, IA, USA 29 November 2013

Aged 88

Buried Cedar Rapids, IA, USA


Date Contributor Update
20 February 2022 09:59:50 Helen Changes to biography

Iowans of the Mighty 8th.

Date Contributor Update
24 March 2020 17:56:25 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "-" to the A/C serial # in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
08 December 2015 13:52:55 Lucy May Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, place associations and aircraft associations

Brought in information from a duplicate record that had mistaken spelt his surname 'Nbigt'. Sources:
MACR 10351 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Enlistment record:

ww2pow record:

Findagrave record:


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:17 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 10351