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Hubert A Zemke


17 air victories with 56th FG flying P-47s, 2 1/2 with 479th FG flying P-51s. Lost 30 October 1944 when P-51 broke up in storm. Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag Luft I. Was appointed as head of American Prisoner of War (POW)s while in camp. Retired from USAF in 1967. Aircraft included 'May Tavarish' and 'Oregon's Britannia'.

Also flew an experimental mission where they put a Bombsight in the nose of a droop snoop P-38J with Maj Arthur R Scroggins. Bombed an airfield in France but upon returning the A/C brakes failed and crew were lucky to survive the landing.

DSC/ SS/ DFC w/ 7 Oak Leaf Clusters/ AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Clusters/ PH/ Army Commendation Medal / British DFC/ Croix de Guerre with Palm (France)/ Croix de Guerre with Palm (Belgium)

17.75 confirmed aerial victories

Note: All official government documents for Col Zemke do not have a middle initial or middle name. His DSC, SS, DFC and AM award documents reflect ZEMKE, HUBERT and Missing Air Crew Report #10423, reflect ZEMKE, Hubert (nmi).



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  • Eugene O'Neill

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  • Kyle Riddle

    Military | Brigadier General | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Group Commander | 479th Fighter Group
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  • Arthur Scroggins

    Military | Major | Bombardier | 95th Bomb Group
    Flew 53 missions. Shot down twice. First time 04 Jan 44 ditched in North Sea after bombing Kiel, plane was Superstitous Aloysius, RTD was picked up by British Destroyer HMS Verdun. 2nd time 17 Oct 44 crash landed behind U. S. lines in Belgium after...

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Units served with

  • 479th Fighter Group

    479th Fighter Group

    The 479th was the last Fighter Group to join the Eighth Air Force, which they did on 14 May 1944. Known as "Riddle's Raiders", after their first Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Kyle L. Riddle, the Group flew escort and fighter sweep missions before D-Day....

  • 56th Fighter Group

    56th Fighter Group

    Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...

  • Headquarters (479th Fighter Group)
  • Headquarters (56th Fighter Group)


  • 42-76471

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 43-28823

    P-38 Lightning
    On Strafing run at La Roche, Belgium, hit by flak as A/C leveled off, bursting into flames. A/C climbed 2-300ft before diving into ground and exploding on impact. Pilot 1st Lt Bobbie R Rankin KIA. MACR 11900.

  • 44-14351

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 376FS, 361FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to HQ Sqn, 479FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal A/C of Col Hubert Zemke. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Hamburg structural failure in heavy weather crashed vicinity of Celle, Germany. Pilot Col Hubert Zemke...

  • 42-75864

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 41-6330 Moy Tavarish мой това́рищ

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Having had his aircraft serviced by the 61st FS in the US, Col. Zemke had this P-47C serviced by the 62nd FS and subsequent aircraft by the 63rd FS.

  • 42-26413 Happy Warrior / Oregon's Britannia

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 63FS, 56FG, 8AF USAAF. Assigned to Major Hubert Zemke, re-assigned to 1st Lt Harold E Comstock. Fatally crashed by Lt Samuel K Batson after engine failure.

  • 42-67704 FUBAR

    P-38 Lightning
    Built by Lockheed as a P-38J, field modified to 'Droop Snoot*' configuration. Assigned to 338th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force. Transferred to 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force. Transferred to 9th Air Force. ...

Associated Place

  • Boxted

    Military site : airfield
    Boxted was built for heavy bombers and became operational from May 1943. In the few months B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group were stationed there, there were two night attacks by the Luftwaffe. On 17 August 1943, one man was killed when bombs...

  • Halesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Halesworth was constructed in 1942-1943. Initially planned as a bomber airfield, its location close to the Suffolk coast meant that it was in an ideal position to operate escort fighters, where range was a critical factor. Consequently, the 56th...

  • Horsham St Faith

    Military site : airfield
    Horsham St Faith was an RAF Bomber Command Station opened in June 1940. It was home to Bristol Blenheim medium-bombers, and was for a time occupied by fighters, including those of No. 19 Squadron and No. 264 Squadron. From September 1942 the airfield...

  • Kings Cliffe

    Military site : airfield
    Kings Cliffe began as a satellite air base for the Group based at nearby Wittering. The 56th Fighter Group, however, were all based at Kings Cliffe and it was here that the pilots trained in P-47 Thunderbolts and flew their first missions in the...

  • Wattisham

    Military site : airfield
    Built in 1938 as a medium bomber station with a grass airfield, Wattisham was occupied by the RAF until handed over to the Eighth Air Force in September 1942. The 68th Observation Group was the first American unit to occupy the station from October to...

  • Stalag Luft I

    Other location

  • Dulag Luft 12

    Other location

  • Chateaudun, France

    Other location


Event Location Date
Born Missoula, MT, USA 14 March 1914

Son of Benno and Anna M Zemke.

Transferred to 479th Fighter Group Wattisham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7, UK 12 August 1944
Prisoner of War (POW) Barth, Germany 30 October 1944 – April 1945

Prisoner of War (POW) . Stalag Luft I.

Died Oroville, CA, USA 30 August 1994


Date Contributor Update
11 May 2021 14:37:53 Emily Changes to middlename

Restored middle initial A based on signatures & handwritten signed letters written by Hub Zemke to Roger Freeman, held in IWM supporting documentation for the Roger Freeman Collection

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2021 12:49:40 decwriter Changes to middlename and biography

NARA award documents, MACR #10423, social security and all official registers for Col Zemke reflect no middle initial or middle name.

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2021 08:35:51 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename and place associations

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2021 00:32:13 decwriter Changes to middlename, biography and awards

Col Zemke's bio photo show numerous decorations and awards. He wears the Army Commendation Medal as the AF Commendation Medal was approved in 1959, thus equivalent. AF members continued to receive the Army Commendation Medal until 1959. All foreign decorations are listed after US decorations and awards.

Date Contributor Update
16 November 2020 19:32:09 Al_Skiff Changes to awards, events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
02 September 2020 22:37:25 jmoore43 Changes to place associations

Added a connection to Stalag Luft 1 per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
26 August 2020 22:15:52 jmoore43 Changes to service number, biography and events

Removed a space in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.
Updated the S/N and Added POW camp info to the POW event from WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
06 January 2016 12:43:38 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and aircraft associations

AAM DB Entry [ Arthur R Scroggins ]

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2015 14:40:17 Emily Changes to place associations

Associated Stalag Luft I

Date Contributor Update
04 February 2015 15:43:58 Emily Changes to media associations

Associated images of Zemke

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2014 08:58:10 Emily Changes to biography and media associations

Associated media

Date Contributor Update
03 October 2014 10:29:00 Emily Changes to events

Update location pin for Stalag Luft I

Date Contributor Update
03 October 2014 10:28:00 Emily Changes to middlename, nickname, role, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and media associations

MACR 10423 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / The Mighty Eighth by Roger Freeman; Who's Who in the Eighth Air Force and/or Biographical Directory Command & Staff Officers Eighth Air Force 1942-45 MACR 10423

Freeman, The Mighty Eighth, p. 276

Freeman, The Hub

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:13:21 AAM AAM ingest

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list