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Sgt Jerome E. Kiger

Sgt Jerome E. Kiger

Birth
Death 21 Jul 1944
Germany
Burial Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France
Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56373464 · View Source
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Gunner Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger KIA
Hometown: Mannington, West Virginia
Squadron: 579th BS 392th Bomb Group
Service # 15320366
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
Pilot 2nd/Lt. Richard J. Carey POW

Target: OBERPFAFFENHOFEN Germany
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #07245
Date Lost: 21-Jul-44
Serial Number: #42-50433
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: "Bar-Q"
Aircraft Name: (NO NICKNAME) 7th Mission
Location: near Starnberg
Cause: German fighters Crew of 9 3KIA 6POW

The original target assignment received the evening on 20 July was the St. Lo area on tactical targets in support of Allied troops. Later it was changed and once more the 392nd's casualties would be high. General briefings were conducted at 0230 and 0330 hours for 24 aircrews with the 576th and 579th assigned to lead. A force of 23 ships went over the target area releasing bombs. Despite fierce attacks on the bomb run by an estimated 25-30 ME-109s and ME-410s, bombing results achieved were good. Enemy fighter attacks were vicious and persistent causing the ultimate loss of (5) aircraft and (3) crews MIA and others wounded or killed.

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: One single, brief eye-witness account (Lt. Long, Navigator, 579th) merely stated that this plane had been reported as leaving the formation and headed for the Netherlands. A German Report at Fuerstenfelbruck near Munich, reported the downed Liberator at 1100 hours on 21 July, and the capture of crew members by the police at Starnberg, near Aufkirchen, east of the Starnberger Sea. Three crew men were found dead: Sgts. Marshall, Kiger, and Glickman, and the remaining (6) taken prisoner.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: A later report given by the Navigator, Lt. Brownfelder, described some of this loss situation: that the ship had been in the Group bombing mission formation just before being hit by enemy fighters near Munich at 1045 hours, altitude 25,500 feet. At about (30) miles west southwest of the target area, they left the bomber formation and were forced to abandon the aircraft due to severe damage. All members excepting perhaps one Waist Gunner and the Tail Gunner, both of whom were wounded, managed to bail out and he believed two men went in with the plane and were killed. He related further that the rest of the crew members were captured when they landed in their chutes in a (10) mile radius of Starnberg and that (1) gunner, Sgt. Glickman was found dead as a result of his parachute failing to open (a fact he learned later from Co-Pilot Ziegenhardt). Co-Pilot Ziegenhardt's later account added some more details regarding their ordeal: that the Engineer later told him that Waist Gunner Marshall had been wounded by a 20mm cannon shell from enemy fighters, and was attempting to don his chute when the Engineer bailed out of the aft hatch, waving the latter out first before him. The Co-Pilot added, that later, he was taken to the crashed and burned plane, and he did see one shoe and foot and bits of flesh scattered over a wide area which he believed to be the remains of Sgt. Marshall. He also noted that at a pre-takeoff inspection, Sgt. Marshall did advise the Co-Pilot that he did not have his dog tags with him for this mission. Another crew survivor's report on Sgt. Glickman, who at the time was flying as Top Turret Gunner rather than in the Waist Gun position, stated that Sgt. Glickman had been wounded in the left side during the fighter attacks and flak barrages, but that the Sgt. had managed to bail out of the bomb bay opening. This surviving member related further that he saw Sgt. Glickman lying on the ground afterwards, noting that perhaps his chute did not open, or that Glickman did not manage to pull his rip cord before striking the ground. The Co-Pilot in his report went on to say: "...Soon after my capture by the Germans I was taken by car to where a body lay on the road. By signs the Germans informed me that I was to search the body. I did, and the body was that of Bertram Glickman. I removed one of his dog tags which the Germans wanted. He had bailed out at about 17,000 feet and his parachute was not opened. He struck the ground face down and most of the bones in the body were broken. His face was pushed back to about his ears but I recognized him by a bald spot on the rear of his head. Positive identification was made from the dog tags. This was about 3-4 miles from Sternberg, Germany on July 21, 1944". An added note to this statement by the Co-Pilot stated that the Navigator, Lt. Brownfelder, had returned after their liberation from POW status to Germany and had related that he found this man's (Glickman) grave. Pilot Carey in his statements covered most all of the above points concerning the crew's downing, but adding that on the bombing run their formation box had been hit by fighters and when he saw the gunners of their Lead ship firing, he asked his own Tail Gunner if he was firing as well. His Tail Gunner had replied "they are 51s" - and he then ordered him to fire at these attackers, that being the last that the Tail Gunner was heard from as the plane then was hit by flak and went on fire with the controls shot out. On Sgt. Glickman, the Pilot stated that it was positively determined that the ripcord on the former's parachute had not been pulled during his bail out procedure.

BURIAL RECORDS: In July 1945 and after liberation from POW status, Lt. Brownfelder, the Navigator of this aircrew, returned to Munich, Germany to carry on the search for Sgt. Glickman's grave. In his own words: "... I located Sgt. Glickman's grave. He is (or was as of August 1945) buried in the village church yard at a town called Hadorf which is about (4) miles ENE of a larger town of Starnberg on the north tip of the Starnberger See. His grave was in excellent condition having been given special care by the villagers. When I left Germany I made certain that the grave was properly marked and also turned a report in to the Graves Registration authorities." On the German burial of Sgts. Marshall and Kiger, no German reports of such exist in this MACR. U.S. National (overseas) records reflect that all (3) deceased crew members are accounted for: Glickman was reburied at the LORRAINE National Cemetery at St. Avold, France (Grave J-48-17); and Marshall and Kiger are recorded on the WALL OF THE MISSING at the EPINAL National Cemetery located four miles south of Epinal (Vosges) France on the east side of the Moselle River. All three members are recorded to have had the Air Medal and the Purple Heart awarded.

The #42-50433 crew
2nd/Lt. Richard J. Carey Pilot POW
2nd/Lt. Donald E. Ziegenhardt Co Pilot POW
2nd/Lt. Allan R. Brownfelder Navigator POW
Fl/Of. Vernon E. Billman Bombardier POW
S/Sgt. Hugh L. Wear Engineer POW
S/Sgt. Joseph W. Love Radio Op. POW
Sgt. Charles R. Marshall Gunner KIA
Sgt. Charles R. Marshall Gunner KIA
Sgt. Bertram Glickman Gunner KIA
Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger Gunner KIA
Sgt.Jerome E. Kiger Gunner KIA

Gravesite Details Remains recovered 2013

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  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 7 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56373464
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Jerome E. Kiger (unknown–21 Jul 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56373464, citing Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial, Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .