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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Loomis, Richard D.


Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Serial Number: O-717239
Military Branch: 401st Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Origin: Nebraska
Date of Death: 1944-7-20
Arlington National Cemetary
Featured: No

Richard D. Loomis, of Omaha, Nebraska, was born September 29, 1921, the son of James and Gladys Loomis. He was killed in action when his aircraft, #42-31812, "Destiny's Child" was shot down over Mochau Airfield near Leipzig, on a mission to Berlin. A newspaper article in Omaha ran a story about Loomis' death stating that he had been a postal worker and that he left a wife who worked at General Motors.

Loomis'aircraft was on its 53rd mission out of its base in Bassingbourn, England. On that fateful day, Destiny's Child carried a crew of 9. Four were killed in action and five became prisoners of war. Destiny's Child was named by the original crew, piloted by Capt. Howard Weber. Crew Chief Jack Gaffney painted the nose art which was based on a hillbilly cartoon character "Uncle Rafe".

Destiny's Child was flown by a replacement crew when the plane was sent into action from its standby position. The crew consisted of 1st Lieutenant Charles E. Van Arsdale, pilot, F/O Joseph F. Sammon, co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Richard D. Loomis, navigator, 2nd Lt. John R. Butler Jr., bombardier, T/Sgt. Charles J. Sullivan, Jr., top turret, S/Sgt Richard H. Hamilton, radio operator, Sgt, Winton W. Blevins, Jr., waist gunner, Sgt. Vernon Winters, tail gunner, and Sgt. Anson M. Riley, ball turret. Van Arsdale, Loomis, Sullivan, and Winters were KIA; the rest were captured after bailout. A great story about the shoot down was written in John Butler's diary, can be found on the web. He stated that the plane blew up after he bailed out. He belives Winters was KIA by gunfire.

Lt. Loomis' group consists of his small machine officially engraved posthumous Purple Heart with its presentation book, and his officially engraved posthumous Air Medal and its presentation box.