T/Sgt Fred J. Drake was born on February 22, 1918, in Elmira, New York.
He was a member of the 720th Bomb Squadron, and flew as radio operator and waist gunner with the Capt. Kenneth Booth crew,
on the B-24 Dottie Darling.
Other members of the crew consisted of: Mike Reese, Co-Pilot, Julius Goldstein, Navigator, Richard “Tex” Hogan, ball turret, Jonny Gural, tail gunner
and John Balma, nose gunner.
Fred flew his first mission on May 6, 1944, to Brasov, Rumania. His last mission was to Trento, Italy, on September 4, 1944.
He flew seven missions to Ploesti, was wounded on August 6th over Toulon, France, and was awarded the Purple Heart.
After being discharged, Fred worked for the Hardinge Brothers, Incorporated, a machine tool manufacturer for 40 years and retired in 1980 as a
quality control tech.
He raised three children in Pine City, New York and enjoys spending time with his 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.