People of the 401st

Harold W. Bowman

Clyde Lewis

George Menzel

William Seawell

Art Seder

Ralph Trout

Commanding Officer, 401st Bomabardment Group (H)

Colonel (later General) Harold W. Bowman was Commanding Officer of the 401st Bombardment Group from June 1943 until December 1944.  He led the 401st through its training in the States, its trip overseas, and 175 combat missions during 13 months in the European Theater of Operations.

Colonel Bowman completed 12 missions with the 401st.  He received the Silver Star for gallantry in action while leading the Eighth Air Force to Leipzig on a mission 20 February 1944 and for which the 401st Bomb Group was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation.

Assistant Secretary (Legal)

Clyde Lewis served with the 401st Bomb Group as the 615th Squadron Operations Officer and acting 615th Squadron Commanding Officer. A practicing attorney, he has acted as counsel for the 401st Bomb Group Association from its inception and has held the office of Assistant Secretary (Legal) since the Association was organized.

Secretary and Treasurer
401st Bombardment Group Association

George Menzel was the bombardier with Fred H. Babcock's 614th Squadron crew, which flew 38 missions. Following World War II he became a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which included an assignment as Agent in Charge at Savannah, Georgia, where he makes his home.

George hosted two 401st reunions in Savannah. He was been the Association's Secretary and Treasurer since 1996, and published the Association's quarterly newsletter, Poop from Group. He also wrote "George Sez" for this web site.

President Emeritus401st Bombardment Group Association

General Seawell, who was Commanding Officer of the 401st Bomb Group at the end of World War II, had a distinguished post war career both in the military and in civilian life. He held a number of important posts in the Air Force, including both operational and staff positions, and served as Commandant of Cadets at the Air Force Academy immediately prior to his retirement in 1963, attaining the rank of Brigadier General.

General Seawell then entered the civilian aircraft and airline industry. He held executive positions with the Air Transport Association, American Airlines and Rolls Royce Aero Engines before joining Pan American World Airways, of which he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until his retirement. He served on the boards of directors of Inter Continental Hotels Corp., McDermott International and McGraw-Hill, Inc.

General Seawell was elected Vice President of the 401st Bomb Group Association at its first meeting in Harlingen, Texas, in 1974 and was elected President in 1986, succeeding General Harold W. Bowman.

President Emeritus - 401st Bombardment Group Association

Art Seder, who held the position of Assistant Group Operations Officer of the 401st Bombardment Group with the rank of Major at the end of World War II, practiced law and became a corporate executive following the war. After finishing law school and serving a clerkship for Chief Justice Vinson of the United States Supreme Court, he entered private practice in Chicago. He subsequently became General Counsel of American Natural Resources Company, a diversified natural gas pipeline and distribution company with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. In 1973 he became President of the company, and from 1976 until his retirement in 1985 he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

In addition to a number of civic positions in Detroit, Seder served on the boards of directors of NBD Bank, Unisys Corp. and Kimberly Clark, Inc. Art was elected Vice President of the 401st Bombardment Group Association in 1994 and served in that office until his election as President in 2000. He then served as President until his retirement in 2008.
Ralph (Rainbow) Trout was co-pilot in Joe Cromer's crew of the B-17, I'll Be Seeing You, which completed 30 missions. Rainbow was largely responsible, with the support and encouragement of General Bowman, for the formation of the 401st Bomb Group Association. (See History of the Association) He served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Association from the time of its founding in 1973 until his death in 1996. His wife, Mary Jane, assisted in handling much of the work of the Association and in planning and staffing reunions of the Group.