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James R Howell

Military

He was born on February 3, 1918, in Dexter, MO, the son of James Robert and Julia Wood Howell. He was always known as Jay. He grew up in the Depression, and joined the Army Air Forces in WWII, becoming a B-17 pilot. He flew twenty-five combat missions over Europe in the 457th Bombardment Squadron, and later made the service his career, retiring as a full Colonel. Among his numerous awards and commendations were the Legion of Merit, and the Air and Air Force Commendation Medals, both with may oak-leaf clusters.

In New York City, while waiting to be shipped to England, he met Jayne Epley and they married after the war at a small air base in Kansas in 1946.

Service

Units served with

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

  • 750th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-98024

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 3/5/44; Dorval 8/6/44; Assigned RAF [HB794]; transferred to USAAF, Assigned 750BS/457BG [Q] Glatton 2/8/44; 749BS; sustained battle damaged Chemnitz 2/3/45 with Craig Greason, force landed continent, rep. and transferred 305BG...

  • 42-98028

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 5/5/44; Dorval 22/6/44; Assigned RAF [HB798]; transferred 8AF, Assigned 457BG Glatton 2/8/44; 305BG Chelveston 23/5/45; Salvaged 9AF Germany 10/5/46.

  • 43-37796

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/5/44; Kearney 1/6/44; Dow Fd 27/6/44; Assigned 423BS/306BG Thurleigh 8/11/44; Missing in Action Brunswick 22/10/44 with Capt Joe Mathis, Co-pilot: Maj Joe Lowe, Navigator: Gorman Siler, Bombardier: Ivan Brill, Flight engineer/top...

  • 43-38528

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12/8/44; Hunter 23/8/44; Grenier 7/9/44; Assigned 750BS/457BG [E/F] Glatton 8/9/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 28/5/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 31/5/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 43-38857

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 30/9/44; Great Falls 1/10/44; Grenier 12/10/44; Assigned 750BS/457BG [D] Glatton 19/10/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 28/5/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 30/5/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in...

  • 43-39211 'McGuire's Chop House'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 10/1/45; Grenier 2/2/45; Assigned 750BS/457BG [N/W] Glatton 18/2/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 28/11/45....

  • 44-6167

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 19/5/44; Kearney 29/5/44; Grenier 4/6/44; Assigned 750BS/457BG [K] Glatton 15/6/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 9/6/45; Sth Plains 11/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 18/12/45.

  • 44-8157

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 25/6/44; Langley 26/7/44; Dow Fd 23/8/44; Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-Z] Molesworth 25/8/44; transferred 751BS/457BG [F] Glatton 15/9/44; Missing in Action Politz 7/10/44 with Gumm; Capt Vinton Mays (Killed in Action); 305BG Chelveston...

  • 44-8219

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 14/7/44; Langley 14/8/44; Grenier 18/9/44; Assigned 749BS/457BG [D] Glatton 4/10/44; transferred 305BG Chelveston 5/45; Salvaged 9AF Germany 10/5/46.

  • 44-8368

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 22/8/44; Langley 20/9/44; Dow Fd 2/10/44; Assigned 385BG Gt Ashfield 14/10/44; transferred 749BS/457BG [G] Glatton 19/11/44; Missing in Action Oranienburg 10/4/45 with Capt Melvin Fox, Co-pilot: Lt Col Rod Francis, Navigator: Beverley...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2017 20:41:51 Chris8thAAF Changes to role, biography, unit associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Taken from obituary: http://lancasteronline.com/obituaries/james-r-howell/article_db8e4e29-6f...

and research from 457th BG association website

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:51 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / www.457thbombgroup.org/roster/Hnames.html

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