Aerial reconnaissance photograph of a B-17 bombing, Germany
Photograph, aerial. Reconnaissance photograph of bomb explosions rising in an industrial area, as seen from a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Lieutenant H. C. Webb's 398th Bombardment Group censor stamp on reverse. Germany. No date
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Items from the service of Technical Sergeant Clyde Albert Baptist, Jr., who served as a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress mechanic with the 398th Bombardment Group (H), 602nd Bomb Squadron out of RAF Nuthampstead in England. Baptist was born on 1 February 1922 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Minette (née Calongne) and Clyde Baptist, Sr. His parents divorced shortly after his birth, and he and his mother moved in with his grandmother Urania. His mother then married Maurice Gressett in December of 1935. Baptist was attending Loyola University when he was called to active duty on 31 July 1942. He was assigned to the United States Army Air Forces and was sent to Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma. In mid November of 1944, he was sent to England, where he was assigned to a B-17 crew and stationed at Royal Air Force Station Nuthampstead. He completed 35 missions and was awarded four Air Medals before returning to the United States on 1 June 1945. Baptist was honorably discharged on 18 October 1945 and returned to New Orleans. He married Katharine Hawkins in August of 1947 and the two raised their family in the neighboring city of Metairie until Baptist's death on 18 September 1977. The collection consists of five aerial reconnaissance photographs, three photographs of B-17s in flight, a crew photograph featuring Baptist, as well as Baptist’s flight helmet, service cap, and flight jacket.
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