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Bernard A Gergash

Military

Shot down by flak and fighters 18th March 1943 in B-17F 41-24558 [VK:F] 'Hunga Dunga', 303BG/358BS while serving as Radio Operator. Target was submarine yards at Vegesack, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW). Participated in 13 operations (2 aborts) with the 303BG/358BS (See Biography Events). Flew one operation as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24580 "Hellcat Agnes", 303BG/358BS.

POW

Service

Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 358th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24558 Hunga Dunga

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-25-BO 41-24558 [VK:F] "Hunga Dunga" was assigned to the 358BS/303BG [VK-F] at Bangor. Maine on 14-Oct-42; arrived at Molesworth, UK on 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action Vegasack 18-Mar-43 when it was attacked by enemy aircraft near Helgoland. Germany...

  • 41-24580 Hellcat Agnes & No Monkey Business

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24580 "Hellcat Agnes" was assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-C] Bangor 11-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-62. Participated in 6 Operations - 2 Aborts (See Biography events) ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • VIII Bomber Command 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 25

    12 December 1942
    This mission is composed of two elements. First element: The German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a force of 78 B-17s despatched from 91BG (19), 303BG (20), 305BG (21) and 306BG (18). However, the target is...

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 29

    13 January 1943
    The primary target for this mission is the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works, associated steel works and the railroad marshalling yards at Lille, France. The attacking force is composed of 72 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 303BG (19); 305BG (23) and 306BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 37

    26 February 1943
    After 10 days of weather related delays of the bomber offensive, a mission is organised with the port facilities of Emden, Germany as the primary target. However, Emden is obscured by cloud cover and all formations divert to attack the port facilities...

  • VIII Bomber Command 38

    27 February 1943
    With weather and cloud cover continuing to frustrate bombing efforts against targets in Northern Germany, VIII Bomber Command decides to mount a raid against the harbour facilities at Brest, France. A total of 60 B-17s are destached: 91BG (18); 303BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 39

    4 March 1943
    After several weather-caused aborted attempts in attacking the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, the 8th Air Force is finally successful in attacking this target. A total of 71 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (18); 305BG (12) amd 306BG (21)....

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Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Assigned to Crew El Paso, TX, USA 10 September 1942 – 14 October 1942

Assigned to B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" 303BG/358BS as Radio Operator with the rank of Private with crew of Pilot 2LT Joseph E. "Little Joe" Haas at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas

Group Station Transfer Bangor, ME, USA 14 October 1942 – 16 October 1942

Transferred with 303BG/358BS and crew of B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" to Bangor, Maine in preparation for deployment to the United Kingdom.

Arrival in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 16 October 1942

Arrived with 303BG/358BS in B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" at Molesworth, England.

Mission #1 PVT Bernard A. Gergash w/B-17F 41-24558 303BG/358BS Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga". The mission was to go to St. Nazaire, France but the pilot aborted the mission becasue of mechanical problems with the aircraft.

Mission #2 PVT Bernard A. Gergash, w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" 303BG/358BS on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Aircraft sustained minor damage from flak.

Promotion in Rank. Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 19 November 1942

Promoted to SGT. Date is approximate and derived from 303BG Mission Report of 22 Nov-42 which has him listed at that rank. The record does not indicate that he was ever a Corporal.

Temporary Aircraft Assigment Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 21 November 1942

Received a temporary assignment on B-17F 41-24580 "Helcat Agnes" 303BG/358BS as Radio Operator. This was the result of B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" being under repair for battle damage received on 18-Nov-42 mission to St. Nazaire.

Mission #3 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/B-17F 41-24580, 303BG/358BS Lorient, France 22 November 1942

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24580 "Hellcat Agnes", 303BG/358BS. He now has the rank of Sergeant. This is a temporary aircraft assignment while his normal crew assigment is with 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" which is undergoing repair of battle damage received on the 18-Nov-42 mission to St. Nazaire. The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the target for this mission

Mission #4 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Saint-Nazaire, France 23 November 1942

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #5 SGT Bernard A. Gergash w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rouen, France 12 December 1942

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bombe the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen, France. RTB OK

Mission #6 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Serves as Radio Operator on B-17F 42-24558, "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. RTB OK

Mission #7 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Lille, France 13 January 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on mission to bomb the Lille Fives Company Locomotive Works at Lille, France. RTB OK

Mission #8 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS - Aborted Wilhelmshaven, Germany 26 February 1943

Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hung Dunga", 303BG/358BS mission was to bomb the U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The aircraft has been assigned a new crew transferred for 92BG under the command of 1LT Charles N. Austin. The bombardier suffered from altitude sickness and the pilot aborted the mission. RTB OK.

Mission #9 SGT Bernard A. Gergash w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Brest, France 27 February 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bombe the U-Boat pens at Brest, France. RTB OK

Mission #10 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rotterdam, Netherlands 4 March 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bobm the railroad marshalling yards at Rotterdam, Holland. RTB OK

Mission #11 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rennes, France 8 March 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B0-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rennes, France. RTB OK.

Mission #12 SGT Bernard A. Gergash, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Amiens, France 13 March 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bombe the railroad marshalling yards at Amiens, France. RTB OK.

Prisoner of War (POW) Krems an der Donau, Austria 18 March 1943 – 3 May 1945

Held at Stalag 17B, Braunau-Gneikendorf (near Krems), Austria.

Mission #13 SGT Bernard A. Gergash Bremen-Vegesack, Bremen, Germany 18 March 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 42-24558 "Hunga Dunga:, 303BG/303BS on a mission to bobm the submarine construction yards a Vegsack, Germany. The aircraft was shot down by flak and crashed on the flats of the in the Jadebusen near Wilhelmshaven. Sgt. Gergash was captured as a Prisoner of War

Last Report Date - Discharged 12 June 1945

Evacuated to the United States after his liberation from Stalag 17B and dicsharged from the USAAF.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2016 18:08:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added Last Report Date event per NAR WWII POW database record.

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2016 18:06:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Corrected POW dates per Stalag 17B history: http://www.b24.net/pow/stalag17.htm

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 22:34:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Made connections to Mission participation based on research of Mission Reports from 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 22:07:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #13 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 18-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 22:00:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #12 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 13-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:55:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #11 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 8-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:50:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #10 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 4-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:47:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #9 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 27-Feb-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:40:29 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #8 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 26-Feb-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:28:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 13-Jan-43.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:20:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:13:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 12-Dec-42.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:08:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 23-Nov-1942.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 21:03:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Temorary Assignment and Mission #3 to Biography events per 303BG website, Gary Moncyr, historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-42.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 20:49:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Promotion in Rank event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-42.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 20:43:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015 Added Mission #2 to Biography Events per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-1942.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 20:34:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to events and aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Mission #1 Birography event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 17-Nov-42.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 20:24:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Arrival in UK Biography Event base on "The B-17 Flying Fortress Story", Roger A. Freemwn with David Osborne B-17F 41-24558 history summary.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 20:20:08 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Group Station Transfer to Biography events based on 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Haas crew page and "The B-17 Flying Fortress Story", Roger A. Freeman with David Osborn B-17 41-24558 history summary.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2015 20:12:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, events and aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2015. Added Crew Assignment event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Haas crew page.

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 16:49:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Aug-2015. Added Decoration and POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; Made connection to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data; Edited Summary Biography with A/C model letter, Radio Call Letters, Unit association and crew position, corrected SN per MACR 15149. Added loss details to Summary Biography per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:28 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey, p. 91, 303rd web site

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