David Aiken 15th AAF
David Aiken and his wife Mary now reside in Bloomfield IN. He is the first person standing to
the left of the picture. The picture is that of one of his crews. He does not recall his group
but flew out of Italy in the B 24. If he recalls names or other info this page will be updated.
He was born in Benton IL. on 4 OCT. 1917. His father died at 41 years of age when he was
4 years of
age. He had his first experience in singing at Zeigler IL. He joined the Boy's Quartet and was
chosen to sing a solo at the Spring Concert.
In the fall of 1935 he entered Southern IL (Normal) University. Along with his$1:udies he sang
in the chorus and was encouraged to ~e voice study. He studied in Marion IL.
under a Mrs. Grace Duty who was a wonderful influnce in his life. In 1939 he taught English and
assisted coaching the Track Team. Then got a job with the St. Louis Municipal Opera. This
started a long singing career interrupted by WW 2.
"In 1942 I joined the Air Corps and became an aviation cadet, went through training as a pilot
and received my wings as a Second Lieutenant. I was sent to Fort Worth, Texas, for training on
a B 24 Liberator bomber and then went overseas. I flew a tour of combat missions over German
targets from southern Italy. Although the tide of war was swinging in our direction, and though
the German Luftwaffe was not as strong as the year before we still flew through black walls of
Flak and sometimes frightning weather. I lost some friends, but my crew and I escaped intact."
After World War II he attended Indiana University to purse his Musical studies. In 1949 he went
to New York and won a role in "The Consul" by Gian Carlo Menotti. They left New York and
traveled the eastern USA then to London, England and Paris, France from there to sing a role
in a Christmas Opera that premiered on NBC-TV Christmas Eve 1951. He spent many years in Opera
Houses of France, Germany (Zurich,Hamburg,Berlin, Karlsruhe, Koblenz) and New York. Was In
several Broadway and Industrial shows for TV networks.
In 1968 he returned to the United States to accept a position at the Indiana University School
Until 1972 he remained in the Air Force Reserve retiring from the reserve as a LT Col and
Pilot. In 1982 he married Mary Matteson of Duluth Minnesota, then General Manager of the
Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. Mary is very active locally In the Foundation Work,Library,
Shawnee Theater and has acted as grant advisor for the Indiana State Arts Commission.
I have much more detail on his life but am limited on space. . He recalls the 15th AF but does
not recall the Group or Squadron. If you know David you may contact me via email and I will pass
your message to him.