Gerald Lane

media-51599.jpeg UPL 51599 Sgt Gerald Lane, 334BS, 95BG

Object Number - UPL 51599 - Sgt Gerald Lane, 334BS, 95BG

Assigned to 334BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. 17 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Chowhound mission to Utrecht, Netherlands in B-17 44-8640; crashed into English channel. Killed in Action (KIA)

Before the day was over 11 of the 13 souls on board would perish. Two who parachuted at the low altitude of 500 feet would survive the frigid waters of the North

Atlantic to live into old age. Fire in number 2 engine.


Pilot 1st Lt.. Lionel Sceurman

Co-Pilot 2ndLt James R Schwarz

Navigator 2ndLt Russel H Cook Jr.

Engineer Top Turret No crew assignment

Radio Operator S/SGT Gano H. Mcphearson

Ball Turret Gunner S/SGT John J Keller

Waist Gunner S/SGT Norbert Kuper

Tail Gunner S/SGT William R Lankford

Toggler S/SGTt Davic C. Condon


Staff Sergent Gerald Lane Voice Interpreter

Staff Sergent Edward Bubloz Jr., Voice interpreter

Staff Sergent Robert W Korber Chief Adminstrative Clerk Photo Unit

Private George Walteri Attributed to photo unit but really a


Sergent Joseph Repisca Photo Unit but had trained as a bombardier

Tony Braidick bombardier who had been part of the original Sceurman crew has been reassigned to another crew. Spider asked him to fly with them that day to switch with toglier David Condon and for reasons he said he could not explain chose to go with his new crew

Today on this Monday; May 7 1945 there would be 5 volunteers on the plane. One would be a seasoned addition to air crews as he had been an aerial German voice interpreter on a number of missions. A second German voice interpreter would join Staff Sergent Gerald Lane. He was Staff Sergeant Ed Bubloz Jr from Texas. Gerald Lane was called Derry by his family and friends. His sister told me at the end of 2020 that as a little girl she could not say Jerry and it came out Derry and the name stuck. Derry had an interesting background in that he was British in every way except one he was an American; being born and raised in the suburbs of London of an American father and British mother. His father served with the RAF Eagle Squadron in administrative capacity and went on to serve as a Major in the US Army Air Forces. Ed Bubloz Jr was from a German immigrant family that first lived in Minnesota then migrated to rural Texas. It appears that Ed may have been originally trained as a gunner but it is now known through the efforts of Colonel Tyler Morton USAF that he was an Ariel linguist like Derry. Why these 2 were on the flight can only be open to speculation. From an oral history by one of Derry’s sister that now resides in the Library of Congress she said he volunteered for paper drives in high school and was very civic minded.

Ed Bubloz came from a religious family and in a press clipping from Florida in 1944 it is noted that he was the 30,000 visitor to a Lutheran church visit center for servicemen, At the time of his death Ed had a 10 year old brother and was survived by his bother and parents. Enlistment records from the Austin area indicate he may have been married.

All of the volunteers are mistakenly lumped together in a number of books, articles, and blogs as being from the photo section. For Gerald Lane and Ed Bubloz it is an error that erases their contributions to the war effort as aerial linguists. It is through the research of Col. Tyler Morton that we learn that Sgt.’s Lane and Bubloz were aerial linguists, pioneers of their time. It is known that Staff Se regent Robert W Korber was from the photo lab. Private George. Waltari was a mechanic and Sergent Joseph Repiscak was originally trained as a bombardier but it is not clear that he completed that training and he may have been from the photo lab.

Lt. Sceurman was president of his fraternity at Buckman College in Pennsylvania. He left college being called up in the reserves in 1943 beginning his fourth year of college but not completing it. He was a political science major and had planned on attending law school. In high school he had a swing band and played locally for dances in Perth Amboy NJ where he lived. He played the saxophone. He was survived by his parents and his 14 y/o sister Noreen. He was first interred at Cambridge American Cemetery in 1945 and in 1947 reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery. He was 24 when he died

Lt, James Schwarz attended Catholic Schools in Charleston West Virginia and was attending Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina when he entered the service. He was one of the 2 survivors. He would return to that college, graduate, marry and have 2 daughters. He would live to 91 and worked as an accountant in Birmingham Alabama. His birthday was August 29, 1924. He was slightly 3 and 1/2 months shy of his 21st birthday when he bailed out at 500 feet into the North Sea.

Lt Russel Cook the navigator grew up in Roanoke Virginia. He wanted to return home and become a farmer. His younger brothers went on to serve in Korea. He is burred in his beloved Virginia. He was 21 when he died.

S/Sgt Gano Mcphearson was married. He was from Tennessee. Very little information is

available on him. He was the radio operator.

Gunner John J Keller was from Montana Very little is known of him

Waist gunner S/Sgt Norbert Kuper Very little historical record of him exist

Tail gunner S/Sgt William R Langford was from Birmingham Alabama. A memorial plaque was place at his high school in 1948 with his along with other alumni who died in the war.

Togler David C Condon was from New York. one of the 2 survivors. Returned to New York. Attended college. He lived to old age

Technical Sgt Korber was from a prominent family in Albuquerque New Mexico. He attended the University of New Mexico for 3 years. He was engaged to be married to his college sweetheart. He was 23.

There were several Joseph Repiscas that swerved in the war. The individual on 44-8640 is believed to be from Chicago. Originally trained as a bombardier but no record is found of him serving in that role. He was one of the passengers on44-8640

Private George Walteri was from Montana. he was married The newspaper account of his loss states he was a mechanic. His wife had a wartime job in Washington DC.

Official Army Air Force documents state that 44-8640 went down due to mechanical failure of the number 2 engine. Derry Lane”s mother and father visited Horham shortly after their son’s death and there is no indication that Major Lane was told anything other than that the flight had a mechanical failure. That the 44-8640 received battle damage can only be attributed to speculation. Stories of this possibility have peculated among veterans, family members and writers over the years. Official documents produced by Army Air Force officials at Horham during the week of May 7 1945 attribute the loss to “a number 2 engine failure.” A full appreciation of the lives of this crew and the volunteers on the last flight of 44-8640 is a goal I sought but with advances of time and loss of relatives and decedents the task remains unfinished. Perhaps other can fill in some of the missing pieces.

Awards: AM (OLC), PH.


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Units served with

The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 335th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19182201 / O-?
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12077925 / O-831280
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Civilian
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Good Pickin
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 335th Bomb Squadron 336th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Kimmie kar for 9
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Passion Wagon ; Victory Devils
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
Section 8
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Section 8
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group



Event Location Date Description


England 21 September 1924


7 June 1943


Off Benacre Ness 7 May 1945


Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery San Antonio, Bexar County, TX 24 April 1997 Memorialised Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas


Tablets of the Missing Cambridge American Cemetery Coton, Cambs, UK


Horham 7 May 1945 Assigned to 334BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF.


Date17 May 2022 23:18:44
ChangesChanges to biography and events

Personal research and family contact USAAF records, Col. Tyler Morton US Air Force

Date17 May 2022 22:53:51
ChangesChanges to biography

personal research, historical documents

Date3 Aug 2021 16:07:11
ChangesChanges to nickname, service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Date27 Sep 2014 18:11:19
ChangesAAM ingest

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

Gerald Lane: Gallery (2 items)