In Memory of
U.S. Air Force Airman Second Class Vermillion, South Dakota
Clay County

October 19, 1929 - July 10, 1953
Killed in Non-Battle at Hunter Air Force Base


Howard Keith Ahlgrim was born on October 19, 1929, to Ellery Conrad John and Evelyn Agnes (Walz) Ahlgrim. Howard had two siblings: a brother, Harold Andrew, and a sister, Charlotte Anne (Ahlgrim) Erickson. Howard first went to school at Austin Grade School and then graduated from Vermillion High School in1949 and from Union Pacific Teletype School in 1950. Howard had many interests that included drawing, painting, gardening, and being with friends and family. Howard worked for his dad at Ahlgrim Trucking and also as a telegrapher at Union Pacific Railroad in Colorado.

Howard enlisted in the Air Force in August 1951. Howard was assigned to various air fields, including Kessler AFB in Mississippi, Randolph Field, Texas, and his last being Hunter Field in Savannah, Georgia, where he was a radio operator for a B-29 bomber in the Second Air Refueling Squadron.

On July 10, 1953, Airman Second Class Howard Ahlgrim was aboard the bomber when it crashed 7 miles from Hunter Air Force Base. This crash killed all 10 crew members aboard. His body was returned to South Dakota and buried with military honors at Bluff View Cemetery.

Howard Keith Ahlgrim was entitled to the National Defense Service Medal although the family does not remember ever receiving the award.

Howard is remembered by his sister as being the “favorite grandchild, very loveable, with many friends.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, May 20, 2004. Information for this entry came from Howard’s sister, Charlotte, ABMC, and the Vermillion Plain Talk, July 16 & 23, 1953, issues. Profile approved by Charlotte Erickson, sister.