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John Joseph Bermingham


John Bermingham was born on March 25th, 1917, to Loyd and Elizabeth Bermingham. He would become the second child out of four brothers and one sister, one of which, Ensign Francis Charles Bermingham, would be killed November 21st, 1943, while flying in the South Pacific. He would meet his wife, Mary, in their native Butte, and would be married sometime in 1941. Sometime after that he would be called for military service, and following his training he would receive his orders overseas, joining the 92nd Bomb Group's 407th Bomb Squadron, flying the B-17. The 92nd initially flew B-17Fs in combat operations, starting in September of 1942. At some point before August 25th of 1944, Lt. Bermingham would fly at least 15 missions, and up to 18, presumably all in 1944.

On August 25th, the 407th BS dispatched six B-17s to attack, along with 12 other bomb groups, the experimental station at Peenemunde. Unit records indicate that photographic evidence is "inadequate", but that "some I.B.'s can be seen bursting on the roof of our assigned target". On this day, now 1st Lt. Bermingham was flying as the Bombardier in B-17 42-97985, the only B-17 of the 407th to go down during the mission.

The Missing Air Crew Report (#8277) states that the plane took a hit to the nose section of the aircraft and descended to 10,000 feet in a flat spin. The Co-Pilot, Flight Officer Joel W. Anderson, reported in a statement that the pilot gave the visual signal to bail out. F/O Anderson moved to the escape hatch to retrieve a parachute, and then moved back to the nose to assist the pilot, 1st Lt. Lloyd J. Triche. He reported that the nose of the aircraft was too hot to further move into due to a fire. He also reported seeing no movement from the area occupied by 1st Lt. Bermingham, or 2nd Lt. William H. Cutter, the Navigator. Moving back to the escape hatch, he noticed that the Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, Sgt. Leland Schlobohm, was slumped over. He had difficulty bailing out due to the spin the aircraft was in at that time. He landed in a cove and walked to shore, where he was immediately captured. He was then informed that nobody else had bailed out, and the aircraft was pointed out to him, "where it was burning in shallow water" approximately two miles off the German mainland. F/O Anderson surmises that the order was not received by the rest of the crew in the middle and rear sections of the B-17 due to the interplane communications being damaged by the nose hit.

It is assumed by the author of this article that 1st Lt. Bermingham was killed when the aircraft received the hit to the nose area. Along with his wife, he left behind an infant son.



  • Lloyd Triche

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 407BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 18 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Peenemunde in B-17 42-97958 25-Aug-44; flak hit in nose, crashed into Baltic Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 8277 Awards: AM (OLC), EAME, PH.

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Units served with

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

  • 407th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-97958

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 16/4/44; Cheyenne 1/5/44; Hunter 14/5/44; Dow Fd 2/6/44; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-G] Bassingbourn 7/6/44; transferred 407BS/92BG [PY-G] Podington 15/6/44; Missing in Action Peenemunde 25/8/44 with Lloyd Triche, Navigator: Bill Cutter,...


  • 570

    25 August 1944

Associated Place

  • Podington

    Military site : airfield
    Built originally to accommodate two RAF bomber squadrons, the first USAAF unit to occupy the base was the 15th Bomb Squadron in September 1942. Podington was then used as a satellite for nearby Chelveston. Work to lengthen the runways, although this...


Event Location Date
Born Butte, MT 25 March 1917

Born in Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana.

Son of Lloyd A and Elizabeth [Rogan] Bermingham.

Enlisted Missoula, MT 26 June 1942

Enlisted in Missoula, Missoula County, Montana. At some point later on, he would become an officer.
Enlisted service number 39607720.

Based Podington 1944 – 25 August 1944

Assigned to 407BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Baltic Sea 25 August 1944

Shot down in B-17 42-97958 while acting as the ship's Bombardier. Listed in Killed In Action.

Buried Holy Cross Cemetery Butte, Silver Bow County, MT 1946

Body was recovered in 1946, where it was repatriated back to Butte, Montana. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.


Date Contributor Update
19 March 2022 18:46:12 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography, events and person associations

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2022 04:19:37 CastleBren Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations, mission associations and media associations

92nd Bomb Group records
Missing Air Crew Report #8277