Remembering Lt. Frederick Howard on this Veterans Day

Posted By on November 11, 2022

Although there are many who serve or served our country we can think about on this Veterans Day, I’ve opted to reflect on my late father-in-law, Frederick Howard, who navigated B-26 bombers over Europe in World War II. He was definitely part of the “Greatest Generation” and volunteered immediately when he came of age and answered our nation’s calling.

He join the U.S. Army Air Corp (becoming the U.S. Air Force in 1947) and was trained as a navigator. He was part of the 397th Bombardment Group and initially stationed in the UK flying 56 missions and seeing the war to the end. He shared a few memorable stories, but chose to reflect often on the questionable flights (getting lost, etc) at the war’s end. A tweet highlighting WWII B-26 pilot Jack Collier triggered my thinking and having to double check the B26/A26 (they are different) specs.

So today, I’m honoring him and the “Bridge Busters” he served with on the twin-engined B-26 Martin Marauders. I’ll attach a photo with a Martin B-26 description from Wikipedia.

A U.S. Army Air Forces Martin B-26B-55-MA Marauder (s/n 42-96142). The aircraft was assigned to the 596th Bombardment Squadron, 397th Bombardment Group, 98th Bombardment Wing, 9th Bomber Command, 9th Air Force in Europe. “X2-A” was named “Dee-Feater” and carries numerous mission markers, and D-Day invasion stripes. The 397th BG was stationed starting 15 April 1944 at Rivenhall, Essex (UK), and moved to Hurn, Hampshire, on 4 August 1944. On 30th August 1944 the Group was relocated to France.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.