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Richard Milton Roper


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

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    "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...

  • 350th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-37796 Fletcher’s Castoria III

    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...

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    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...


Event Location Date
Born Berkeley, California, USA 30 September 1916
Based 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) Barth, Germany 21 February 1944 – 1 May 1945

Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12

Died 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.


Date Contributor Update
02 February 2020 21:34:57 jmoore43 Changes to events

Added POW camp information from WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2020 20:39:51 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a comma in the "Summary biography" for clarity.

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2017 14:23:00 robrop Changes to media associations

Robert Preston Roper

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2017 14:04:20 robrop Changes to biography and events

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2017 13:21:39 robrop Changes to service number and highest rank

Records held at NPRC

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2017 13:20:45 robrop Changes to middlename and awards

Records retrieved from NPRC

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:43 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2761 / MACR 2761, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database