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Looking for info on 3502'd Squadron H

Discussion in 'Heavy & Very Heavy Bombers' started by Jeff Draper, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Jeff Draper

    Jeff Draper New Member

    Trying to find the name of my Dads B-17. I have his DD214, but it only shows 3502'd AAF Base Unit Squadron H. They deployed to Germany, Europe, and Ardennes. He was a top turret gunner 1942-1944. Thanks
  2. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the AAF forum Jeff.
    We will need more information please. Your dads full name, and army serial number, where he was from. The 3502'd AAF Base Unit Squadron H was based at Chanute Field, Rantoul, IL and is likely the unit he was assigned to back in the U.S. for purposes of discharge. Any idea at all of what bomb group he served with or where he was stationed in England.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
    Lucky Partners likes this.
  3. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member


    As Scott says, the first thing we need is his full name. Just for the sake of conversation, the WWII enlistment records list more than 800 men with the last name Draper. For our purposes the most useful information on the DD214 is on the back side. Can you scan that and post it here, .jpg is easiest but PDF is OK too. Typical information there would include things like the date he left the US and the date he returned. Also usually listed would be any awards he received, his MOS, any special schools he attended, etc. Unfortunately it would not include which Bomb Group he served with or any information on his missions, crew, etc. That's where we have to sort through our sources to see what we can find. Did your dad keep a diary? If so any information there could be very helpful, dates of missions, targets, serial number or tail number of aircraft flown, name of pilot, etc, etc.
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  4. Jeff Draper

    Jeff Draper New Member

    Thank you Sirs, for both the welcome and the response. It was indeed Chanute Field. He passed away October 2013, just before his 93rd birthday.
    Unfortunately I am not aware of any diary or further info. I have a few pictures of him in uniform at home, possibly during leave?
    And one lone picture of him and the crew in front of the plane, but it shows no tail number or nose art/name.
    All I know is it was H Squadron. Any info would be appreciated. He had once told me the name of the plane, but I didn't retain it.
    Attached are a photo of his DD214, the envelope for amusements sake, and the lone photo. Thank you guys so much, for any help, and your service.
    God Bless.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Jeff Draper

    Jeff Draper New Member

    I know it's a long shot, and likely no lists of crew members matching to a specific plane, But it would be great to know anything of the plane.
    Thanks again.
  6. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
    Lucky Partners likes this.
  7. Jeff Draper

    Jeff Draper New Member

    Yes, I find the same things, minimal info, no photos, no real details.
  8. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Well clearly he was a busy man. Air Medal with 5 OLCs means he flew at least 30 missions. Got to be something out there, we'll keep looking. If push come to shove these original unit records are still at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland!

    Oh, one other thing. If he flew that many missions he may have flown on a dozen or more different aircraft even if he remained with a single crew. Aircraft were not assigned to a crew, rather a crew flew whatever aircraft they were told to fly on any given mission.

    And Jeff, yet one more thing, you said he was in H squadron. The H was the Group identifier, not the Squadron identifier, it was in a square box on the tail of ever plane in the 388th BG.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
    Jeff Draper likes this.
  9. terveurn

    terveurn Active Member

    He was assigned 2Lt J J Quinn Crew

    quinn 1.JPG quinn 2.JPG quinn 3.JPG
  10. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    The photo you posted also shows up here, copy paste the whole address:


    It is labeled as the Quinn crew.

    On the 388th BG for the Quinn crew, L J Draper is shown as the flight engineer:

    This link may not work, you may need to go into the "crews" section and select Quinn.


    Opps, looks like Dave beat me to it. I'll leave this here as I will explain how I found the information. I am using Google Chrome as a browser, and when you right click on the photo you posted in post #4, you are given the option to search "Google" for the photo, i.e., do a Google search for the photo on the web.

    That search leads to the photobucket link I found above and there the photo is labeled as the Quinn Crew, 388th BG. Looking up the Quinn Crew on the 388th BG website gets you the rest of the information.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
    Jeff Draper likes this.
  11. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    So, if you want to choose one of the many planes his crew flew to call 'his' plane I would select 42-97210, the plane he flew the most missions. This plane flew at least 150 missions and probably came back to the US after the war and was turned into beer cans with all the rest.


    And by the way, to access the 388th database you do NOT have to create a log in, just leave it blank and hit the 'login' button.

    Kingman Arizona 'boneyard' after the war.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  12. shaef1944

    shaef1944 New Member

    Terv .... BAM !
    Doesn't get much better !
    Jeff Draper and 25Kingman49 like this.
  13. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Interesting that when you click on any of the 388BG links for L. J. Draper it takes you to the Sgt John Drabik page.

    B-17G-45-BO-42-97210 Del Cheyenne 6/2/44; Kearney 27/2/44; Grenier 9/3/44; Ass 563BS/388BG Knettishall 22/3/44; RetUS Bradley 28/6/45; 4168 BU Sth Plains 21/10/45; RFC Kingman 10/12/45. JAMAICAN GINGER II.

    42-97210 Jamaica Ginger
    42-97210 Jamaica Ginger.jpg
    Photo courtesy Roger Freeman Collection http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/1742

    Port side photo of 42-97210 here http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW2-USAAF-B-17-Bomber-Jamaican-Ginger-8x10-Nose-Art-Photo-388th-BG-WWII/401276945674?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=41451&meid=3b3a4ad548ae49faa215d00da652ede1&pid=100011&rk=2&rkt=5&sd=401152857974 hover cursor over the photo for enlargement the stenciled serial number can be seen below the window.
    Port nose 42-97210 Jamaica Ginger.jpg

    Photo credit 388BG http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Contr...-42-97210-01&dataType=Photo&category=aircraft

    Full 388BG photo collection this ship here http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=42-97210&dataType=Aircraft with full mission and crew sortie listings
    Opps, looks like Hal already posted this last link.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  14. terveurn

    terveurn Active Member

    388th BG is one of the best databases available -- but, it does have a slight bug and at times, it will not generate a crew list.

    It is just something you learn to live with and there are work around's


  15. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Agree Dave. If Jeff is interested he can click on the mission number in any one of these lists and see the report of that mission. They did a good job on this one.
    Jeff Draper and 25Kingman49 like this.
  16. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Interestingly the Quinn Crew remained together with the only exception being the removal of Lt Vavrek (bombardier) being replaced by an enlisted "toggler" on and after mission #270. Here is the crew listed together with details, without the toggler replacements. I have promoted some from their listed rank which still might not be completely accurate to final rank:

    Quinn Crew
    2nd Lt. John Joseph (Jack) Quinn Jr. (P) ASN: O-678931, MOS: 1091
    2nd Lt. James L. (Cotton) Robins (CP) ASN: O-2059120, MOS: 1091 https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14737808
    2nd Lt. Harold Lloyd Miller (N) ASN: O-2066013, MOS: 1034
    1st Lt. Joseph Vavrek (B), ASN: O-725107, MOS: 1035 (replaced by toggler after 22 missions on 3 March 1945)
    T/Sgt Grant M. Christensen (RO) ASN: 19175765, MOS: 757, enlistment https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=19175765&bc=sd&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=1774254 likely https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=86794899
    T/Sgt Leonard J Draper (ETTG) ASN: 36713804, MOS: 748, (no NARA enlistment found) 2 findagrave listings - with Leonard photo https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=119485233 with marker image https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=120961811
    Sgt John M. Skeffington (WG), ASN: 37552312, MOS: 612, (no NARA enlistment found), no clear findagrave memorial.
    Sgt Charles Marko, (BTG) ASN: 38546628, MOS: 612, enlistment https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=38546628&bc=sd&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=7404023
    Sgt William L. Reinacher (TG) ASN: 42207302, MOS: 612, (the ASN 42207302 is incorrect leads here https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=42207302&bc=sd&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=8412111 ) correct ASN believed to be 12207302 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...lliam+L+Reinacher&bc=sd&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=69025
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  17. Jeff Draper

    Jeff Draper New Member

    WOW! Awesome guys. Thank you so much. I looked through all of the same looking pages on that site but never really found much.
    This gives me a lot of info. Thank you again.

    God Bless. [​IMG]

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