1st Lt. Carroll Glenn Boyd and crew of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Bar Fly.”

Pilot: 1st Lieutenant Carroll Glenn Boyd (0-804598) was born 30 May 1921 in Gaston County, NC. He was the son of Grover Duncan and Eunice May (Barbee) Boyd. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps 21 May 1942. Boyd was Killed in Action 9 April 1944, while assigned to the 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force. Pilot of B-17G Flying Fortress 42-39936, nicknamed Bar Fly.

Navigator: 2nd Lieutenant William Davis Abernathy (0-757789) was born 15 March 1922 in Palo Pinto, Texas. He was the son of William Gideon and Maria (Gaines) Abernathy.  Abernathy was Killed in Action 9 April 1944 while serving on Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force.

Bombardier: 2nd Lieutenant William Houston Craighead (0-682008) was born 1 February 1924. Craighead married Jessie O. French 4 October 1943 in Spokane, Washington. Carroll Boyd was one of his two witnesses for the ceremony. Craighead was Killed in Action 9 April 1944, while serving on Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force. Based out of Deopham Green, England. 

Copilot: Elmer Paul Julius (0-754429) was born 30 May 1920 in Chicago, IL. He was the son of Elmer Albert and Emma Lucke (Mueller) Julius. Julius married Dorothy Einsweiler while he was an Air-cadet at Hancock College of Aeronautics.  He enlisted in the Army Air Corps 6 April 1942. Julius was Killed in Action 9 April 1944, while serving aboard Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force.

Right waist gunner: Staff Sergeant Raymond Earl Raley (18162612) was born 29 September 1922 in Oklahoma. Enlisted in the Army Air Force 10 November 1942. Raley was Killed in Action 9 April 1944, while serving aboard Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force.­­­­­

Left waist gunner: Staff Sergeant James E Parker (37402639) was born 1919.  Parker enlisted 7 December 1942 at Jefferson Barracks. MO. Killed in Action 9 April 1944, while serving aboard Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force.­­­­­­­­­

Ball turret gunner: Staff Sergeant Bernard H Brand (17004374) was born in 1921. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps 15 August 1940 at Fort Crook, Nebraska. Taken Prisoner of War 16/17 April 1944 at Guidborgsund Bridge. He was serving on Bar Fly. Imprisoned at Stalag Luft III. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force.

Engineer: Staff Sergeant Charles Frank Hopper (34161749) was born 16 April 1918 in Altoona, Alabama.  He was the son of Jessie Olena (Wright) and Paddie Hugh Hopper. Hopper enlisted in the Army 15 October 1941. Wounded in Action/taken Prisoner of War 9 April 1944,while serving aboard Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force. Hopper was imprisoned at Stalag 9C Bad Sulza, Saxe-Weimar, Germany. During the early days of his captivity, assistant surgeon Aage Astrup at Nakskov Hospital, Denmark had to amputate one of Hopper’s arms. Hopper was repatriated and returned to the U.S. in 1945, aboard the S.S. Gripsholm. He was discharged 23 July 1945. Hoper married Edna Smith of Unadilla, Georgia. He died 27 December 1992.

Radio operator: Staff Sergeant Timothy James Nunan (20282345) was born 9 July 1920 in Syracuse, New York. He was the son of James Vincent and Anna Laura (Clements) Nunan enlisted in the Army 27 January 1941. He was taken Prisoner of War 16/17 April 1944 at Guidborgsund Bridge. He was serving aboard Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force. He was imprisoned at Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf, Austria. He was discharged 9 October 1945. Nunan married Mary F. Howman 24 July 1946 at Onondaga, New York. He died 6 September 1975 in Volusia, Florida.

Tail gunner: Staff Sergeant Oather “Gene” Messe (35683435) was born in Plainville, Ohio. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps 20 January 1943 at Cincinnati, Ohio. Meese was taken Prisoner of War 11 April 1944 at Berritagaard. He was imprisoned at Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf, Austria for fifteen months and released 3 May 1945. Taken prisoner while serving aboard Bar Fly. Assigned to 728th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Group, (Heavy), 8th Air Force. He married Pauline “Polly” Griner. Meese died 24 December ­­­­­­­­­­2017

Bar Fly B-17G #42-39936

William Craighead, taken Monroe, Louisiana, circa 1943. (photo American Air Museum in Britain)

Raymond Earl Raley

William D. Abernathy (Photo: https://airforce.togetherweserved.com)



Claimed to be the wrecked tail section of the Boyd plane. However, his plane has been confused with the B-17 Boyd was commanding on 9 April 1944. The B-17 pictured here was operated by Clark G. Graham and crashed 9 June 1944.

Wreckage of the Graham’s plane.
(Photo: https://airforce.togetherweserved.com)

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