This A-2 jacket belonged to Staff Sergeant William Elder. Mr. Elder joined the Army Air Corp in 1942. He became part of the 8th Airforce. Mr. Elder was a clerk in the operations section. After the 8th incurred heavy losses in the latter part of 1943, Mr. Elder volunteered for air duty. He trained in the late Winter of 1944 as an air gunner. After his second mission, a flight from England to Rostock in which their plane was under heavy attack, Mr. Elder questioned the sanity of what he had done. On his fourth mission, his bombardier was killed. At that point, he was retrained and moved to the nose of his B-17. On his tenth mission over Paris, Elder's plane was hit in the nose by flak, causing him facial injuries. The pilot called for a check-in. Elder heard the navigator say, "the bombardier is dead." Upon
landing in Horham, England, Elder was rushed to the hospital, where hours later, his crew, filled with debriefing whiskey, rescued him with a ladder from his 2nd Floor hospital bed. He returned to barracks and all partied on.
due to Sgt. Elder not staying in hospital for 24 hours, he was not awarded a purple heart.
Among Elder's 26 decorations are the Air Medal, The D F C, The Polish Warsaw Uprising Medal and the Great Patriotic War Medal from the U S S R.
Elder was a career Air Force man and tired in 1969.