AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE BOMBER STATION, England ---Shown after returning from one of the many Eight Air Force bombing assaults that paved the way for the march of Allied armies across Europe, is Second Lieutenant Harrie Taft, 22, of Providence Rhode Island.
Co-pilot on thex B-17 Flying Fortress “Florence Darlin”, he flew through sever enemy opposition to drop tons of explosives on Nazi industrial and military installations prior to V-E Day.
Lt. Taft is a member of the 452nd Bomb. Group, a unit of the Third Air Division—the division that received a unit citation for its historic England-to-Africa shuttle bombing of Messerschmitt aircraft factory at Regensburg, Germany.
The Eighth was the first American air force to attack Germany and its first objective was the defeat of the Luftwaffe, the keystone upon which plans for the successful invasion of Europe were laid. Thousands of pounds of high explosives were dropped on aircraft plants and tank factories since August 1942, and 6,000 German interceptors were shot out of the air by bomber gunners.
After beating the Luftwaffe into relative impotency, the Eight threw its weight against Germany’s rail system and vital sources of oil, dropping over 700,000 tons of bombs on enemy military strong points throughout the Reich. These operations in the air disorganized all transport in Germany, restricted enemy military operations and drained the lifeblood of the Nazi war machine.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harrie Taft of 20 Frankfort Street, Providence. Prior to entering the AAF in March 1943, Lt. Taft was a student a Bryant College, there. His wife, Mrs. Florence Taft, lives at 105 Sunset Ave., Providence.
TO: Providence (Rhode Island) Alumni Secretary” (Bryant College)