LTCOL Ernest M. Duckworth USAF Retired (Arlington National Cemetery)

My father was Ernest M. Duckworth and he did relate some of his experiences in the war as a navigator/bombardier in the 376th but there is one story that he never told me or my brother. We only found out about one particular incident from our uncle Richard Duckworth, Dad's eldest brother.

Uncle Richard mentioned once at a family get-together in Rhode Island that dad had washed out of pilot training in Montgomery Alabama. Of course we were flabbergasted to even think that Dad could wash out of anything he attempted.

The situation in Montgomery Alabama in the 1940s was what might be called "Racially Biased"

In formation one morning the drill Sargent got on my Dad's case because he was a "Yankee" from Rhode Island. He kept harassing Dad's Yankeeness and finally called Dad a God-Damned Yankee Nigger-Lover.

Dad was one to not tolerate bigotry and he punched the Sargent out cold.

He was immediately drummed out of pilot training.

Later he applied for navigator school and was immediately accepted having a BS degree in science and having been a high-school math and science teacher.

As it turned out it was the best for Dad and the Army Air Corps because dad was one hell of a navigator/bombardier.

Comments for LTCOL Ernest M. Duckworth USAF Retired (Arlington National Cemetery)

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 02, 2018
The South in 1940's
by: Lynn F. Bianchi

Please do not judge the 1940's South by 2018's standards. Segregation existed in the USA even in the Armed Forces, so let's not be so quick to assume this sort of thing happened only because it was in the South. My point is, then as now, bigotry and prejudice exist everywhere, and we should do all we can to eliminate them, without resorting to violence against a DI who is trying (successfully) to 'push all your buttons'. Also, wars are not fought for peace. Wars are fought to promote one ideology over another, one culture over another, one people over another. History clearly shows this. I'm sure Col. Duckworth went on to become a great asset to the AAC, but being unable to control his own anger at that time would justly render him unsuitable for a pilot's duties.

Apr 25, 2018
Good For Dad!
by: Laurie Blair

Good for your father!! What a story. We were raised the same way, to be intolerant of bigotry and prejudice and to make a noise when we were confronted with it. To live in peace is why we'd fight a war in the first place.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Our veteran's stories.


The website is NOT our site nor is it our endowment fund.

At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

Donate directly to the 376 Endowment

To read about other endowment donation options, click here.

My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


DATES: Sep 15-18, 2022

CITY:Wichita, KS

HOTEL: Wichita Marriott

9100 Corporate Hills Dr.

Wichita, KS


Click here to read about the reunion details.

previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid

The Broken Wings of Zlatibor

The Liberandos

Three Crawford Brothers

Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior

376th Bomb Group Mission History

The Last Liberator

Full Circle

Shadows of Wings

Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War

I Survived Ploesti

A Measure of Life

Shot Down In Yugoslavia

Stories of My Life


Born in Battle

Bombardier's Diary

Lost Airmen