Leiston Airfield (Station 373) and 357th & 358th Fighter Group Memorial
357th Fighter Group Roll of Honor
Kenneth F. Graeff was born in 1921 in Saint Louis, Missouri, son of Elmer F. Graeff and Orpha M. Kirkpatrick Graeff. he served in the 363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group as a First Lieutenant during World War II. On September 15, 1944, several P-51s departed to provide escort for bombers on their way to Warsaw, Poland. The P-51B #42-106783 “Flying Panther” was assigned to Captain E. K. Simpson Jr but on that day was being flown by Lieutenant Nowlin. The P-51B 43-24842 “Blackpool Bat” piloted by 1st Lieutenant Kenneth F. Graeff had departed first and was loitering while he waited for the rest of the escorts to form up. As Lieutenant Nowlin climbed to altitude, he entered heavy overcast conditions and, as a result, collided with the “Blackpool Bat” killing both pilots. 1LT Graeff was declared missing and now is memorialized in the Tablets of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Source of information: www.aikensairplanes.com