References and Research






part 1


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The Story of Glen Eldon Seeber, who lost his life September 10, 1944

This webpage is dedicated to  Sergeant Glen E. Seeber, Tail Gunner on a B-17 bomber in the 8th Air Force during WWII. Glen lost his life, as did so many others, defending the free nations of the world from the threat of Nazi Germany.

Before the War

Kansas City

Jefferson Barracks, MO

Eau Claire, WI

Santa Anna, CA

Las Vegas, NV

    part 2
Navigation Training:
Hondo, TX

Lincoln, NE

Salt Lake City

Alexandria, LA

   part 3
Glatton Air Base
B-17 Bombers
Sept 10, 1944

Uncertainty and Mourning



What do those
patches mean?

Other references to the 457th

References and Research 
books, articles,

Clarence (Frank C.) Seeber
28th Division
103rd FSB


What do those
patches, pins, and other things mean?

There are often Patches and pins found with a veteran, and often the question is, what do they mean?

Below are the meanings of the symbols associated with Glen.

First, what exactly is an aerial gunner, as defined by General Hap Arnold in the Official AAF guide in 1944, an Aerial Gunner "Mans guns; informs pilots of approaching enemy planes; services guns and turrets in flight"

Patch from Glen' uniform: The official Army Air Force insignia. "The insignia was described in regulations as follows: On an ultramarine disk (2-5/8" diameter) is imposed in the lower segment a White Star (1-1/8" point to point) with a red disk superimposed and covering the the entire center of the Star. Surmounting the Star are two stylized wings extending upward and outward at a 45 degree-angle" (
Patch From Glen's uniform: Armament Specialist - power turret, bombsight, munitions, and armament technicians

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Glen's Wings (from photo, above, reproduction, below) - Aerial Gunner. The Official WWII Guide to the AAF (Arnold, 1944) states "Graduates of an AAF Flexible Gunnery school... may wear the badge during such time as they are  assigned as a regular gunner member of an aircrew...". Style varied, there was no such thing as a "standard set of wings". Different manufacturers made different designs, and the gunner purchased what was available, or what appealed to him.

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Click for larger image
Sharpshooter Medal - A noted in his letters, one of the side affects of being moved around, and having a lot of time to spend on the shooting range, was the the fact that Glen earned his Sharp Shooter qualification for the pistol. Reproduction shown

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reproduction patch - Army Air Cadet; "circular cloth insignia three inches in diameter with the same design to be worn on the sleeve. A smaller version of the same insignia was worn on the left side of the garrison cap. Photographs show that some cadet wore the aviation cadet insignia in the position of a shoulder sleeve insignia on the left shoulder. There are also aviation cadet insignia with a black rather than blue background." text from: American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations
of World War Two, Created by Dr. Howard G. Lanham

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Winged prop (from Glen's letter head) - symbol of the Army Air Corps

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8th Air Force (reproduction patch) - the one to which Glen was assigned: a.k.a. "The Mighty Eighth"; central star with the 8th symbol with wings.

Glen's Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group (heavy): The group was named "The Fireball Outfit"
and had a crest of arms with the logo "Fait Accompli".

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Glen's squadron, the 749th: The 749th sported a patch
with the Devil, hurling a bomb groundward
Tail marking from the 457th. Each bomb group had a unique identifier. This was the identifier on the tail of the panes in Glen Seeber's squadron.



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Serial Number: 17166374 Army serial number - The first digit, 1, indicates that that Glen was an enlistee (as opposed to National Guard (2) or draftee (3)). The second digit, 7 corresponds with the geographic area he enlisted. 7 is the plains area, including Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and states North. This, the Seventh Corps area,  covered serial number ranges 17,000,000 to 17,4999,999 (Gawne, 2006)

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Collar tabs - Collar tabs worn by enlisted men, with the winged prop and the U.S. emblem (reproductions shown)

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Cadet Winged prop cap (hat) badge and lapel badge (reproductions)

Other references to the 457th



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In addition to websites and books, you can run across other references to the 457th. Interestingly, planes of the the 457th have been featured by plastic model makers Revell and Monogram, as well as diecast model maker Corgi.

The Commemorative Air Force (formerly the Confederate Air Force) also has a restored B-17 which it chose to restore as "Sentimental Journey", a plane of the 457th (
From the web site :"Nose art Betty Grable
Aircraft markings 457th Bomb Group based in Glatton, England, during World War II with the Eighth Air Force"

References, Resources,  and Research


Books about the 457th
Fait Accompli, Briggs, Homer and Bass, James L, JM Productions, 1995, 409 pp
Fait Accompli II, Bass, James, JM Productions, 1998, 224 pp
Fait Accompli III,
Bass, James L, JM Press, 2000, 279 pp
All EXCELLENT accounts of the 457th. All who have relative who served are indebted to the authors for recording what happened!
The Fireball Outfit, Blakebrough, Ken, Aero Publishers, Inc, 1968, 96 pp
Dead Engine Kids, Welch, Jack, Silver Wings Aviation, 1993, 216 pp
Flak Dodger, Byers, Rolands, Pawpaw Press, 1985, 260 pp
Ready of Not: Into the Wild Blue, Angier, Francis J., Success Networks International, 2003, 292pp
Command and Combat; A history of Brampton HQ and Glatton 457th Bomb group, Porter, Paddy, Tri-Service Magazines UK, 1992, 60 pp
Cambridgeshire Airfields in the Second World War
, Smith, Graham, Countryside Books, 1997, 288 pp
A short  history of the 457th
Air Force Combat Units of World War II, M. Maurer, Office of Air Force History, 1983, pg 332 a short synopsis of the 457th

Books about Glatton
Airfield Focus 50: Glatton Conington, Smith, John L, GMS Enterprises, 2002, 47 pp
Action Stations; Military airfields of Cambridgeshire, Bowyer, Michael JF, Patrick Stephens Limited, 1987168 pp

Researching your WWII veteran
Finding Your Father's War
, Gawne, Jonathan, Casemate Publishing, 2006, 341 pp A GREAT start at researching a relatives service in WWII. HIGHLY recommended!
U. S. Military Records:
A guide to Federal and State Sources, Colonial America to Present, Neagles, James, C, Ancestry Publishing, 1994, 441pp

U.S. Army Patches: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Clothe Unit Insignia, Stein, Jason Barry, University of South Carolina Press, 1997, 222pp plates 25-28 relate to the Army Air Forces
Silver Wings, Pinks and Greens:
Uniforms, Wings & Insignia of USAAF Airmen in World War II , Maguire, Jon, Schiffer Publishing, 1994, 191pp A very good book outlining the uniforms of the Army air forces in WWII. Very helpful in my research.
USAAF Handbook: 1938-1945, Bowman, Martin W., Sutton Publishing, 1997, 276 pages. a good reference on the AAF in general, with a bit of emphasis on the 8th Airforce

WWII airfields and Air Bases
Forgotten Airfields of America Volume I
, Thole, Lou, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Inc, 1996, 158 pp
Forgotten Airfields of America Volume II
, Thole, Lou, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Inc, 1999, 172 pp
Forgotten Airfields of America Volume III
, Thole, Lou, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Inc, 2003, 178 pp

A series of books that looks at the airfields which once blanketed the USA

The SAAAB Story, Miller, Edrik J, 1981 215pp An excellent history of Santa Ana army air bases
We'll Find the Way: The History of Hondo Army Air Field During World War II, Thompson, Robert, Eakin Press, 199, 204 pp A very good summary of the history of Hondo Air base
The Wings Of Change: The Army Experience in Texas During WWII, Alexander, Thomas E., McWhiney Foundation Press, 2003, 229 pp

The University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire: A History: 1916-1976, Carter, Hilda R. and Jenswold, R, University of Wistonsin Eau-Claire Foundation, 1976 a small section on the 301st College Training detachment

WWII era Base Publications
Alexandria Army Air Field,
Quick, Quentin, Albert Love Enterprises, 1945
Jefferson Barracks Missouri in Pictures, Lincoln, Rush, EM Berry Publishing, 1942
Take Your Post, Jefferson Barracks, Missouri

General insight into the Army Air Force
The Crooked Road to Combat
, Dillon, Carrol F., iUniverse Inc, 2004, 263pp an interesting book that unveils some of the unusual things that happened during training for the Army Air Corps - several of which my Uncle experienced

The Army Air Forces in WWII, Volume 3: Europe - Argument to VE Day , Craven, Wesley Frank and Cate, James Lea, editors, Office of Air Force History, 1951, 1983, 808pp The official air force history - 7 volumes in total and 10 years  in the making! The war in Europe.

The Army Air Forces in WWII, Volume 6: Men and Planes, Craven, Wesley Frank and Cate, James Lea, editors, Office of Air Force History, 1955, 1984, 808pp The official air force history - 7 volumes in total and 10 years  in the making! The making of the Army Airforces

AAF; The Official WWII Guide to the Army Air Forces. Arnold, H H, Army Air Forces Aid Societ, 1944, 380pp written during WWII to explain the who, what, when, and  why of the AAF

Target:Germany; The U.S. Army Air Force's official story of the VIII Bomber Command's first year over Europe, No Author listed, Foreword by Hap Arnold. Printed by Harrison and Sons, Ltd, London under the Authority of His Majesty's Stationary Office, August, 1944


The Rear Gunner, WWII: Air War, Volume I, National Archives,  Topics Entertainment, Renton, WA, 2006, 26 minutes A film which gives a great overview of the training of an aerial gunner.

The Memphis Belle, WWII: Air War, Volume I, National Archives,  Topics Entertainment, Renton, WA, 2006, 43 minutes A sobering look at the final combat voyage of the Memphis Belle - This is NOT the fictional theatrical release. About the closest you will come to flying a mission.

Expansion to Air Power, WWII: Air War, Volume IV, National Archives,  Topics Entertainment, Renton, WA, 2006, 43 minutes A documentary from early 1944 reviewing the expansion (and challenges) of the AAF from1939 through 1943.

Web Sites - The 457th Bomb Group Association - The best source of information on the web! A. Willard "Hap" Reese's website Diary Of A B-17 Ball Turret Gunner - John Briol, Ball Turrent Gunner in the 457th Web Birds 457th page The Wild Hare - a personal website from another nephew whose uncle flew! Wikipedia's entry on Glatton Airbase War time memories project: Glatton Air Base Modern day images of Glatton Accident - An excellent service for obtaining information on relatives which the US Government bureaucracy seems intent on keeping away from the public. Information on WWII Troopships A website dedicated to the heritage of Jefferson Barracks General information on the USAAF American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations
of World War Two, Created by Dr. Howard G. Lanham and part of by Bob Brown

Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields Paul Freeman.

The California State Military Museum: Santa Ana Army Air Base The history of Santa Ana Army Air Base

Fact Sheet:Nellis AFB The history of Nellis AFB, a.k.a Las Vegas Flexible Gunnery School

National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis - US Government Military record center

Google Earth - An amazing tool allowing the tracking of missions and other important geographic areas!