A former truck driver, R M Roper enlisted as a private but passed cadetship as 4 engine pilot. Commissioned 28 May 1943. Served in UK, 9 Sept 1943-20 June 1945 Station 139 Thorpe Abbotts. On 21 February 1942 his plane was forced to make an emergency landing due to mechanical/engine failure and battle damage, near Halweg , Holland on a mission to Brunswick, GR on 21 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-37796. Richard was captured and taken to Stalag Luft 1, Barth, Prussia as Prisoner of War (POW). Liberated May 1, 1945. He was awarded Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters for his part in bringing the damaged aircraft down with no loss of life.
Units served with
"The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Denver 3/9/43; Gr Island 27/9/43; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-T] Thorpe Abbotts 28/9/43; Missing in Action Brunswick 21/2/44 with Bill Fletcher, Co-pilot: Dick Roper, Navigator: George Browning, Bombardier: Howard Venzie, Flight engineer/top...
Military site : airfield
Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...
||Berkeley, California, USA
||30 September 1916
||100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum
||9 September 1943
Co-Pilot of B17G Fletchers Castoria. R M Roper's history is documented at 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum at Thorpe Abbotts, England
|Prisoner of War (POW)
||21 February 1944 – 1 May 1945
Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12
||St. John's, NL, Canada
||12 February 1955 – 21 February 1944
Died of heart attack in service at his base in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He was reserve pilot of B52s, 1805th Army Airways Communications Services Wing.