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Alex M Erganian

Military

Awards: DFC, WWII Victory, EAME.

The Two Egg Raid
by Leslie Erganian, Captain Alex M. Erganian’s Daughter

Numbers are everything when you’re telling any story about a war, so here are some of the numbers I know. My father was a WWII bomber pilot flying raids out of England with the 327th Squadron of the 92nd Bombardment Group of the United States 8th Army Air Force; Captain Alex M. Erganian, born May 15th, 1919. He flew his twenty-five-mission tour of duty between June 1943 and March of 1944. For his first and forth missions he flew a YB-40, the Flying Fortress. For the other twenty-three, he piloted a B-17. That’s a lot of numbers if you think about it, but in the case of war, this war, any war, numbers assume a significance they don’t always have in other circumstances, they become coordinates that pin an action and a person to a place and a time, and their knowledge becomes essential to the reconstruction in the collective memory of just what happened and where and when and with whom so many years ago.

One of the stories Dad loved to tell was about how one morning at mess, instead of getting the usual one egg for breakfast, each of the men was served two eggs. They couldn’t believe their good fortune, and surmised that for whatever reason, it had been a busy week for local egg-laying, and that he and his crew were the lucky beneficiaries by chance. It wasn’t until breakfast was done and they were all assembled in the briefing room that they realized the real reason for the extra egg. The mission before them was a bombing raid with the target of Gdansk, Poland. That second egg was to supply each of them with the extra sustenance they would need to fly the extra-long mission and survive. My father dubbed it a “two-egg raid”, with all the shorter ones that had proceeded it becoming in retrospect “one-egg raids.” A two-egg breakfast from that day forward, would be a early sign of the kind of mission to come, a mission that was doubly long and doubly dangerous.

That day’s mission, flown on the 9th of October in 1943 out of Podington airfield, would at 1500 miles become known as the longest mission of the war. For my father, it was the first of many two-egg raids to follow, one of which would earn him the Distinguished Flying Cross. For me, there isn’t an egg breakfast that goes by in which I don’t consider how much one extra egg sticking to my father’s ribs might have been responsible for getting him through the war alive. As I said before, numbers are everything when you’re telling any story about a war.

Service

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    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...

  • 327th Bomb Squadron

Associated Place

  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born St Louis, MO 15 May 1919

Son of Mark E and Arpen G Erganian.

Enlisted Chicago, IL 31 July 1941

Illinois
Enlistment Date:
31 Jul 1941

Discharged USAAF 7 August 1945

Honourable discharge.

Died Palatine, IL 9 January 1998
Buried Evergreen Cemetery, Barrington, IL 13 January 1998

Evergreen Cemetery
Barrington,
Cook County, IL
Section 29

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 September 2020 23:35:14 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

NARA file verified Air Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters.

Date Contributor Update
27 March 2020 23:39:55 Captain Alex M. Erganian's Daughter Changes to service number and biography
Sources

Written by myself

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2019 01:13:14 Captain Alex M. Erganian's Daughter Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

Captains log Alex Erganian

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2019 01:08:40 Captain Alex M. Erganian's Daughter Changes to role
Sources

Captain’s Log Alex M. Erganian

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2019 01:07:50 Captain Alex M. Erganian's Daughter Changes to place associations
Sources

Captain’s Log Alex M. Erganian

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2019 01:06:41 Captain Alex M. Erganian's Daughter Changes to highest rank and biography
Sources

Captin’s Log Book

Date Contributor Update
24 March 2019 20:47:31 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, highest rank, biography, events and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/657101819
https://www.fold3.com/record/65021592-alex-m-erganian
https://www.fold3.com/image/147360942?rec=147744506
https://www.fold3.com/record/628511292-alex-erganian-1919
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/131597137/alex-m_-erganian

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2014 15:43:04 Captain Alex M. Erganian's Daughter Changes to awards
Sources

I am his daughter and I have seen his medal.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:03:14 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/PersonnelSearch.php?LastName=e...

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