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427th Nemer Crew
Alfred K. Nemer, Pilot
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(crew assigned 427BS: 19 Jan 1945 - photo: Briggs Field, TX, Nov 1944)

(Back L-R) Sgt Floyd C. Doherty, Jr. (TG-KIA), Sgt Floyd S. Bohrer (E-POW),
Sgt Marion L. Canfield (BT-KIA), Sgt Peter M. Volpini (R-KIA), Sgt Paul L. Kerr (WG-Rtd)

(Front L-R) 2Lt Harry H. Schulz (N-Rtd), 1Lt Alfred K. Nemer (P-KIA),
2Lt Alexander F. Marshall (B), F/O Odus C. Litzelfelner (CP-KIA not in photo)

(KIA-POW-RTD) - Mission 313, 9 February 1945. Two 427th BS B-17's were lost due to a mid-air collision near the target at Lutzkendorf, Germany. Missing Aircrew Reports 12245 and 12229.

B-17G 42-31060 Pogue Ma Hone, piloted by 1Lt Alfred K. Nemer and B-17G 43-39149 (No name) piloted by 2Lt Robert J. Barrat collided before "bombs away" after the 1Lt Nemer B-17 was hit by flak. The right wing of 42-31060 hit the tail of 43-39149. The rear part of the fuselage - from the waist window back - was torn from 43-39149. The aircraft was seen going down out of control in two pieces. Miraculously, the tail Gunner Sgt George H. Emerson managed to parachute out of the severed tail and became a POW. The other eight members of the Barrat crew were killed.

42-31060 Pogue Ma Home dropped down about 10,000 feet below the formation and seemed to be under control. It followed the formation for about 45 minutes and was then lost from sight. The collision knocked out two engines on the right wing with oil and gasoline all over the wing. With two engines lost, altitude could not be maintained. It was also apparent that the B-17 could not buck a head wind and get back to England. 1Lt Nemer asked for a heading to fly towards the nearest Russian lines. After about an hour flying in heavy cloud cover the B-17 started to pick up ice on the wings and continued to loose altitude. The crew threw out guns and other heavy items and were able to reach the front lines where the Germans and Russians were fighting. When over the Russian Lines the order to bail out was given. The B-17 crashed and exploded east of Jaraczewe, Poland. 2Lt Harry H. Schulz (N), T/Sgt Howard H. Ganson (Tog) and Sgt Paul L. Kerr (WG) were picked up by Russian troops and returned to Molesworth on 6 March 1945. The parachute of Sgt Floyd C. Doherty, Jr. (TG) failed to open and he was killed. Sgt Floyd S. Bohrer (E) was captured by the Germans and he became a POW. 1Lt Alfred K. Nemer (P), F/O Odus C. Litzelfelner (CP), Sgt Peter M. Volpini (R), Sgt Marion L. Canfield (BTG) died in the crash of their B-17. Their bodies were recovered and buried by their three surviving crewmen in Jarecin, Poland. They were later reburied at other locations

Nemer Crew Monument
Early in 1991 Harry H. Schulz was contacted by Group Captain Stanislaw Przbyski and was told that the City of Jarecin was building a monument to the Nemer Crew. The monument dedication took place on 30 June 1991 in Jaraczewe, Poland about a mile from the crash site. Harry H. Schulz and quite a few dignitaries attended the dedication. See the monument photo here.

Three missions flown by members of the Alfred K. Nemer Crew:
311 - 3 Feb 1945 to Berlin, Germany in B-17G 43-39081 (No name) 427BS (GN-G)
312 - 6 Feb 1945 to Geisel, Germany in B-17G 43-38763 (No name) 427BS (GN-B)
313 - 9 Feb 1945 to Lutzkendorf, Germany in B-17G "Pogue Ma Home" 427BS (GN-N)

Crew Notes:

  • 1Lt Alfred K. Nemer (P-KIA) - Mission 311 & 312 flown as CoPilot with a combat mission orientation Pilot; 311 - 1Lt Silas B. Ashwell Lead Crew; 312 - 2Lt Arthur Bluethenthal (CP) on 1Lt Ingersall J. Roberts Crew; Mission 313 flown as 1st Pilot.
  • F/O Odus C. Litzelfelner (CP-KIA) - Stood down on missions 311 & 312. Flew on mission 313.
  • 2Lt Alexander F. Marshall (B) - Flew with 1Lt Nemer crew on mission 311. Substitute Togglier used on missions 312 & 313 - T/Sgt Howard H. Ganson (RTD) from 2Lt Stanley E. Pursel Crew. 2Lt Marshall flew on 17 additional combat missions with eight different Pilots: As crew member -318, 319, 320, 321, 324, 325; As member of a PFF Deputy Lead Crew - 331, 333, 335, 339, 343, 347, 350; As member of a Squadron PFF Lead Crew - 353, 357, 363 & 364. Completed 18 credited combat missions.
  • Other six crewmen - 2Lt Harry H. Schulz (N-RTD)), Sgt Floyd S. Bohrer (E-POW), Sgt Peter M. Volpini (R-KIA), Sgt Marion L. Canfield (BTG-KIA), Sgt Paul L. Kerr (WG-RTD), Sgt Floyd C. Doherty, Jr. (TG-KIA) - Flew on all three of the 1Lt Nemer Crew missions.
Burials in Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium (12 miles southwest of Liege, Belgium)
Sgt Marion N. Canfield (Plot B-27-21) and Sgt Floyd C. Doherty, Jr. (Plot B-32-7)

[photo courtesy of Harry H. Schulz]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]