Vernon served as a First Lieutenant & Bombardier on B-17 #42-5133, 342nd Bomber Squadron, 97th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.
He resided in McCulloch County, Texas prior to the war.
B-17 #42-5133 took off, with a crew of 10, from Algeria on a bombing mission over Palermo, Italy. They were last seen to have been hit by ground anti-aircraft fire, which severely damaged their No. 3 engine, and going down.
They were believed, by the other B-17s who saw them going down, to have crashed or crash landed. However no one saw them crashing and there was never any record by the German Army of this B-17 crashing or ever being found. It was therefore determined by the U.S. Military that they must of crashed into the sea off Palermo since no other records exist.
Vernon was declared "Missing In Action" in the crash during the war.
He was awarded the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart.
Service # O-729563
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Airmen who perished on B-17 #42-5133:
Lyons, John V ~ Sgt, Tail Gunner, NY
Murray, William F, Jr ~ 1st Lt, Co-Pilot, CA
Pollock, Howard ~ Sgt, Waist Gunner, ND
Price, Arthur L ~ 1st Lt, Navigator, LA
Reed, Vernon J ~ 1st Lt, Bombardier, TX
Rosetti, Louie ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, WY
Schirmer, Harold P ~ 1st Lt, Pilot, NY
Somers, Clarence P ~ S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner, WA
Starin, Charles H ~ Sgt, Waist Gunner, NY
Stout, Jack D ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, NC
( Bio & Crew Report by: Russ Pickett )
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