first loss



Cpl Raymond R. Bilodeau

It was the night of 11/12 December 1944, they were in a snowstorm, they had been in the air for several hours on a round-trip training mission and they were lost.

Navigational aids were not functioning properly, it seemed they were running out of fuel, so the aircraft commander signaled “bail out”. He and his pilot and flight engineer stayed aboard and actually located Pratt Army Air Field and were able to land the plane with little damage to it.

But nine men had jumped and were scattered across the mostly farm studded land. Some were injured but alive…. and then they found their radar operator.

Cpl Raymond R. Bilodeau had fallen to his death. He was the only man lost during training at McCook Nebraska.

For years his name was listed inaccurately in our History, and the story was not known, but it is now corrected here.