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Vernon Edward Kirk Jr


Joined Sqd 10/25/44. WIA 11/10/44 (Hanau). Trans/4210 Hospital 11/15/44. Pilot: Hobbs.

Vernon Kirk wrote: “The flight to Hanau was routine, though we did see some flak and some
planes we thought were German jets [Me 262s]. They seemed to be just staying out of range and did not attack. When we approached Koblenz, we could see heavy flak ahead so we started to drop the strips of anti-aircraft foil. The flak became thick and close, rocking the plane. I reached over to pick up my flak suit and for an instant I could or did not move from that leaning position. It was then I heard a loud noise and knew flak had hit the plane. Then I felt a burning in my right hip. I told Hank, the other waist gunner to help me and then we found blood. He and another crewman bandaged to stop the bleeding and we made it back to base. At the hospital that night I saw another person, probably George Schofield, and though I felt pain I realized how lucky I was because he appeared to have a head injury. This was only my second mission though one time we became lost in heavy clouds and lost the formation. “Some of the crew came to visit me in the hospital, then I never saw them again. Later I asked about them and was told they were lost over France, but could not get any other information.
Hobbs gave me the piece of flak and a Cuban nickel I had in my wallet. The flak had struck it
and ripped it almost in half and then came out my hip at my waist. This nickel evidently
deflected the flak and saved more serious injury and possibly my life.”


Units served with


  • 42-50725

    B-24 Liberator
    Vernon Kirk wrote: “The flight to Hanau was routine, though we did see some flak and some ...

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...


Event Location Date
Died January 2018


Date Contributor Update
25 May 2019 18:14:59 Mary Beth Kirk Changes to role

Direct Quote: Lundy

Date Contributor Update
15 April 2019 13:03:01 Mary Beth Kirk Changes to middlename and awards

Purple Heart received after his injury of 10 November 1944

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2019 12:17:58 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
19 March 2019 16:04:19 Mary Beth Kirk Changes to media associations

Photos given to me by my Dad, Vernon E. Kirk, Jr.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:26:24 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Webb Todd