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John J Mernagh


Flew 50 missions from 22 December 1943 to 1 February 1945. Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal w/ 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation.


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. ...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 508th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-29824

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/2/43; Gore 9/3/43; Memphis 27/3/43; Dow Fd 15/4/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-B] Thurleigh 24/4/43; transferred 526BS/379BG [LF-G] Kimbolton 3/10/43; battle damaged Bremen 29/11/43 crash landed Leiston; 2 SAD Lt Staughton 1/12/43;...

  • 42-29882

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 3/3/43; Pueblo 12/3/43; Presque Is 8/4/43; Assigned 94BG Bassingbourn 17/4/43; transferred 508BS/351BG [YB-L] Polebrook 18/4/43; 41m 2 BAD Warton 5/4/44; Returned to the USA Amarillo 18/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold...

  • 42-30866 Pistol Packin' Mama

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/8/43; Scott 24/10/43; Assigned 401BG Deenethorpe 30/10/43; landed Bassingbourn 9/11/43 transferred 563BS/388BG Knettishall YANKEE BELLE; 508BS/351BG [YB-S] Polebrook 21/11/43. ...

  • 42-30994

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/8/43; Gt Falls 9/10/43; Scott 28/10/43; Assigned 401BG 30/10/43; transferred 508BS/351BG [YB-T] Polebrook 21/11/43; {30m} 487BG Sudbury 15/7/44; Salvaged 29/5/45. VOX POP II aka OLE DAD.

  • 42-31711

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/12/43; Kearney 22/12/43; Prestwick 16/1/44; Assigned 508BS/351BG [YB-F] Polebrook 30/1/44; {90m} 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 28/5/44; Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 19/6/44; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/6/44;...

  • 42-31879

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 24/12/43; Gt Falls 29/12/43; Kearney 13/1/44; Assigned 508BS/351BG [YB-Q] Polebrook 22/2/44; {55m}, landing accident at base; Salvaged 2 SAD Lt Staughton 4/10/44; Returned to the USA 9/44. THE SHARK.

  • 42-31955

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/1/44; Savannah 24/1/44; Assigned 508BS/351BG [YB-K] Polebrook 29/2/44; Missing in Action {13m} Oranienburg 18/4/44 with Ed Apperson, Co-pilot: John Ledyard, Navigator: Bill Connors, Bombardier: Hal Marsh, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-37731

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 10/8/43; Dalhart 17/8/43; Assigned 510BS/351BG [TU-A] Polebrook 22/9/43; transferred 508BS [YB-A]. Missing in Action on its 12th mission, to Bordeaux on 31 December 1943 with Pilot Major John R. Blaylock; Navigator: James Taylor; Tail...

  • 42-38023

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/11/43; Romulus 9/12/43; Presque Is 14/12/43; Prestwick, UK 19/12/43; Assigned 508BS/351BG [YB-H] Polebrook 1/1/44; {10m} on return from Berberg, 22/2/44 with Dester Watson, crew ?; (10 Returned to Duty); bellied in at Framlingham,...

  • 42-39849

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 18/9/43; Scott 19/10/43 Assigned 401BG Deenethorpe 27/10/43; transferred 508BS/351BG [YB-K] Polebrook 18/11/43; Missing in Action {24m} Berlin 22/3/44 with Wyman Slosson{kept ship going so crew could bale out},Tail gunner: Warren...

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  • VIII Bomber Command 161

    22 December 1943
    This mission is composed of two forces directed at two separate targets, the communication centers at Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. The force attacking at Osnabruck is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 227 B-17s (2 are PFF...

  • VIII Bomber Command 164

    24 December 1943
    This mission is directed at V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. The attacks are made between 1330-1510hrs. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 277 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG ...

  • 8th Air Force 176

    5 January 1944
    This mission consists of five elements: The first element is a combined force of 131 B-17s are despatched by 1st Bomb Division: 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 379BG; 384BG; and 482BG to bomb the shipyards and industrial areas of Kiel, Germany. 119 are...

  • VIII Bomber Command 191

    24 January 1944
    The primary target of this mission was the Zukunft power station at Eschweilier, Germany. The mision was composed of 563 bombers three elements from 1BD, 2BD and 3BD. The despatch from 2BD was recalled due to weather before it could take off. Mission...

  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

  • 8th Air Force 200

    30 January 1944
    This mission has the aviation industry at Brunswick, Germany as the primary target. The mission is composed of a combined force pf 777 heavy bomber aircraft despatched in three elements: 1st Bomb Division; 2nd Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Division. The...

  • 8th Air Force 206

    3 February 1944
    The port area and Naval facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany was the primary target for this mission. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bomb Divisions all participated. ...

  • 8th Air Force 208

    4 February 1944
    The railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany were focus of this mission, but other railroad marshalling yards in the area were attacked as well. Weather and navigational errors frustrate target acquisition.748 heavy bombers were despatched in a...

  • 8th Air Force 210

    5 February 1944
    German airfield in France are the targets for this mission. All three Bomb Divisions despatch aircraft. The combined bomber gunner's claims of all three Bomb Divisions were 5-0-5 (displayed with Chateauroux element of 1BD). Summary as follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 212

    6 February 1944
    German airfields and V-Weapon sites in France are the primary targets of this mission. A combined force total of 642 heavy bombers are depatched from 8th Air Force 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions. The primary targets of 1st Bomb Division were the...

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Associated Place

  • Polebrook

    Military site : airfield
    Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...


Event Location Date
Born New Jersey, USA 8 July 1920
Enlisted 13 February 1943
Died 15 March 1947


Date Contributor Update
19 November 2014 00:54:05 jmchristel Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 16:08:30 jmchristel Changes to mission associations

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 05:31:11 jmchristel Changes to mission associations

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 05:17:13 jmchristel Changes to role

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 05:13:34 jmchristel Changes to service number, role, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources Headstone Application

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:17 AAM AAM ingest

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