1stLt. Bodmer was in the # 3 position and Lt. Hill was in the # 5 position. When the enemy fighters were sighted, the formation closed. On the 3rd or 4th pass by the enemy, Lt. Blair’s # 2 engine caught on fire. He pulled out slightly left and feathered the engine. The fire went out and Lt. Blair made a diving left turn into clouds. He was not seen afterwards. Five minutes later, Maj. Bradford appeared to be looking back to see what happened to the other bombers. He was flying a rough formation but none of his bomber’s movements were violent. His bomber descended slightly to the left. He pulled up just under Lt. Bodmer, who was flying to the front and left of him. As he pulled up, Lt. Bodmer climbed up and out. After Maj. Bradford moved back into position, Lt. Bodmer took his own position. Almost immediately, Maj. Bradford climbed under Lt. Bodmer, his left vertical stabilizer went into Lt. Bodmer’s bomb bay doors. It seemed the # 3 and # 4 propellars of Lt. Bodmer’s B-24 cut off the tail of Maj. Bradford’s B-24 at a point just behind the waist windows. Maj. Bradford’s B-24 climbed violently and fell into a spin. Lt. Bodmer’s B-24 lost a bomb bay door and fell off onto the right wing, did a half-turn-spin, then spiraled down. Both B-24s hit the water about 200 yards apart and exploded. No parachutes were seen. It was near Bilugynn Island, Bay of Martaban. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Fairfax City Cemetery, Fairfax, Virginia. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

A brother, Calvin R. Ford, born 3 June 1927, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1945 to 1946 and was an F.B.I. agent from 1951 to 1981. He died on 1 January 2004 and is buried in the Fairfax City Cemetery, Fairfax, Virginia.

 

A brother, Frank L. Ford, born 2 August 1925, served in the USAAF from 21 July 1943 to 7 March 1949. He died on 2 December 2006 in Vineland, Cumberland, New Jersey.

REED, FRED HEVNER, Second Lieutenant, # 0-703521, USAAF

 

Fred H. Reed was born on 18 September 1921 in Renovo, Clinton Co., Pennsylvania, to Fred Bradbury Reed (1895-1968) and Helen (Hevner) Reed (1900-    ). He was married to Margaret S. Reed, who in 1943 lived at 422 Third Ave, Williamsport, PA, and in 1950 lived at 685 Third Ave., Williamsport, PA. His father was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 February 1942, resided at 650 Pennsylvania Ave, South Renovo, PA, employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, and described himself as 6’, 148 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 24 February 1943. He was trained as a bombardier on the B-24. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 22 October 1944, a flight of B-24Js, including # 44-40588, # 44-40992, and # 44-70414, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission over Moulmein, Burma.