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Russell Alfred Kerkhan

Military

The missions listed in the bio were gleaned from mission records/load lists. The missions do not represent his complete combat mission record.

Service

Units served with

  • 340th Bomb Group

    340th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated on 20 August 1942. The 340th Bombardment Group trained with B-25's for duty overseas. They arrived in the Mediterranean theater in March 1943. Assigned first to the Ninth Air Force and later (in August 1943) to the Twelfth. Served in combat...

  • 488th Bomb Squadron

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Pittsburgh, PA 15 May 1919
Lived in Pittsburgh, PA 16 October 1940

814 Delmont Street

Enlisted Pittsburgh, PA 15 July 1942
Combat Mission Settimo, Italy 23 August 1944

43-4025

Combat Mission Rattoneau, France 24 August 1944

43-3990

Combat Mission Rattoneau, France 24 August 1944

43-3990
2nd mission of the day to the same target

Combat Mission Rattoneau, France 27 August 1944

43-4025

Combat Mission Cittadella, Italy 31 August 1944

43-27695

Combat Mission Santa Lucia, Italy 9 September 1944

43-27669

Combat Mission Piacenza, Italy 1 October 1944

43-27770

Combat Mission Magenta, Italy 3 October 1944

43-27703

Combat Mission Casale Monferrato, Italy 4 November 1944

43-27695

Combat Mission Trento, Italy 6 November 1944

43-27537

Died Andover, Ohio 10 August 1955

Kerkhan and his entire family (wife, 13 year old son and 8 year old daughter) when a restuarant in Andover, OH exploded.

e gruesome job of identifying charred bodies began today in a temporary morgue three blocks from the village square, where smoke still rose from an explosion and fire.
Many of the dead and injured had sought shelter from a storm in a row of buildings which were leveled by the disaster.
THere were 21 bodies accounted for, most of them in a make-shift morgue inside a garage, and at least two persons were reported missing. More than a score were injured.
The center of the disaster was the Gateway Restaurant in this village in the resort area in North-eastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania border. The restaurant and a dairy store were in a 2-story frame building which disintegrated with a force that shook the whole town. It has a population of about 1,200.
The task of learning the victims' names was complicated by the fact this village is on Ohio 6, used by tourists headed for Lake Erie as well as Lake Pymatuning. Some of them may have been eating in the restaurant at the time of the explosion.
A Pittsburgh family of four was among those definitely listed.
"The walls blew out and the roof fell in. There were arms and legs sticking out of the wreckage all over the building."
No one was certain what caused the explosion. Firemen, however, speculated that accumulated gas was set off either by a bolt of lightning or a spark from electrical equipment in the basement, flooded by the heavy rains.

Buried Pittsburgh, PA 15 August 1955

South Side Cemetery
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
PLOT Sec. P, Lot 8, Grave 4

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2022 03:29:08 466thHistorian Changes to biography
Sources

added note to bio

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2022 23:23:03 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/7387959:2238?tid=&pid=...
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=8939&h=6588215&...
http://www.gendisasters.com/ohio/7172/andover-oh-restaurant-explosion-ki...
http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/340thMissio...

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