kaercher robert
AGE22 yo
FAMILYSon of Danial J & Flora M KAERCHER
RANK1st Lieutenant
SQUADRON615th Bomb Squadron
GROUP401st Bomb Group H
ARMY8th Air Force
DATE OF DEATH26 march 1944kaeecher robert d tombe
PLACE OF DEATHLe Fond de Souich/Bouquemaison, Sector Abbeville

B-17 Fortress - type G-15-DL - s/n 42-37833 IY*F

"Omar The Dent Maker"

Macr: 3599
Mission: Watten (59) - Base V1
tAKEOFF: station 128 Deenethorpe, Sussex UK
Corps originally buried in Bouquemaison Cemetery
Shot by hunters and flak
Partially evacuated plane - 14h52


Plan du Normandy American Cemetery

Air Medal + 2 Oak Leaf Clusteram2olc


usaf 8air force 401bg 615bs





Robert was born in 1922, in Cavalier, Pembina, North Dakota.
In Apr 13, 1942 he enlisted to the air corps.

In 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
His last mission, March 26, target: Watten , France.
They were hit by flak over Pas de Calais and exploded.

He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal

In 1944, when Robert died on the age of 22 he left behind his family :
His father, Danial J Kaercher, age 55
His mother, Flora M Kaercher, age 53
His brother, Howard W Kaercher, age 32
His brother, Gordon L Kaercher, age 31
His brother, Herbert J Kaercher, age 15
His brother, Roy Dean Kaercher, age 26

kaercher robert d

PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud

Crew of B-17 Fortress - type G-15-DL - s/n 42-37833 IY*F

"Omar The Dent Maker"

Captain William  Madison Jr "Bill" RUMSEY Pilot Dead Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer (14) -- B.9.32 - O-728740 - AM+2/PH - 22 Yo  rumsey william m tombe
1st Lieutenant Robert Danial  KAERCHER CoPilot Dead Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer (14) -  B.9.30- O-681433 - AM+2 - 22 Yo  kaeecher robert d tombe
1st Lieutenant Michael R  WALSH Navigator Dead Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer (14) - B.10.13- O-676185 - AM+2 - 24 Yo walsh michael tombe 
1st Lieutenant James D HAFFNER Bomber Prisoner O-739024 - Seattle, Washington USA - Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia  
S/Sergeant Irving Ira "Lucky" LIEBERMAN Mechanic
Dead United Hebrew Cem. Halethorpe, Maryland USA - A.8.1- 13103453 - 20 Yo  
T/Sergeant William Warren CARTER Radio
Dead Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer (14) - B.9.29 - 39829464 - AM+2/PH - 23 Yo   carter william w tombe
T/Sergeant Donald Behrn ROBERTS Gunner Dead Glenwood Cem. Oneida, Madison Co, New York USA- 32377788 - 23 Yo  
S/Sergeant Frank Augustine ROTHWELL Gunner Dead Cim Am Colleville-sur-Mer (14) - B.9.31 33330990 - DFC/AM+4/PH - 29 Yo  rothwell frank a tombe
S/Sergeant Ivan Riley "Ray" LEE Gunner Dead 12073240 - AM/PH - 22 Yo   
Sergeant John W CARSON Gunner Prisoner 14043222 - Chattanooga, Tennessee USA - Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang  

L - R, back row:

Michael R. WALSH - William M. RUMSEY - Donald B. ROBERTS - Lt. Colonel WHITE

 L - R Front row:

Harold S. ARNOLD - William W. CARTER - Irving I. LIEBERMAN - Ivan R. LEE


The target was Pas de Calais, france and the V-1 installlations from which the Germans launched their rocket attacks on Britain.

It was considered a mild run as serious opposition was seldom encountered recently. The crew crossed the channel and headed towards the Initial Point. No fighters were in sight, and no flak had been seen.

It was just as the crew were starting on the bomb run that it happened. A shell exploded suddenly inside the plane behind the pilot, Capt William M Rumsey. A single burst of flak had hit them squarly.

The plane immediately went out of control and according to eyewitnesses from other planes, the plane flew upside down and backwards through the formation.

The plane began to disintregate, wings, engines, etc, breaking off. Two crew members bailed out just before the plane exploded. A French men, J. Yaequemelle, found the bodies of the eight men, no chutes were open. William obviously died before coming to earth.

He was requisitioned to take a wagon and two horses and to take the dead soldiers to the cemetery of their village, Bouquemaison, Somme, Picardie, France William and his mates were buried side by side in their uniforms.

On June 10, 1945 the bodies of the eight airmen were exhumed by American forces to be buried in a military cemetry.

42 37833 equipage
42 37833 mission Mission to Watten, France, operation " Crossbow " (Nazi rocket sites), just before bomb run, plane was hit by flak.
Chrashed near Bouquemaison, France.
b 17




D-Day - Order of battle

U.S. Strategic Air Force: Lieutenant General  Carl SPAATZ

8th Air Force: Lieutenant General James H. DOOLITTLE

1st Bombardment Division: Major General R. B. Williams
1st Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General William M. Gross
91st Bombardment Group (Bassingbourn airfield): Colonel Henry W. Terry
381st Bombardment Group (Ridgewell airfield): Colonel Harry P. Leber, Jr
398th Bombardment Group (Nuthampstead airfield): Colonel Frank P. Hunter, Jr
40th Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General Howard M. Turner
92nd Bombardment Group (Podington airfield): Colonel William M. Reid
305th Bombardment Group (Chelveston airfield): Colonel Ernest H. Lawson
306th Bombardment Group (Thurleigh airfield): Colonel George L. Robinson
41st Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General Robert F. Travis
303rd Bombardment Group (Molesworth airfield): Colonel Kermit D. Stevens
379th Bombardment Group (Kimbolton airfield): Colonel Maurice A. Preston
384th Bombardment Group (Grafton Underwood airfield): Colonel Dale O. Smith
94th Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General Julius K. Lacey
351st Bombardment Group (Polebrook airfield): Colonel Eugene A. Romig
401st Bombardment Group (Deenethorpe airfield): Colonel Harold W. Bowman
457th Bombardment Group (Glatton airfield): Colonel James R. Luper


2nd Bombardment Division: Major General J. P. Hodges
2nd Bombardment Wing (Hethel airfield): Brigadier General Edward J. Timberlake
389th Bombardment Group (Hethel airfield): Colonel Robert B. Miller
445th Bombardment Group (Tibenham airfield): Colonel Robert H. Terrill
453rd Bombardment Group (Old Buckenham airfield): Colonel Ramsay D. Potts, Jr
14th Bombardment Wing (Shipdham airfield): Brigadier General Leon W. Johnson
44th Bombardment Group (Shipdham airfield): Colonel John H. Gibson
392nd Bombardment Group (Wendling airfield): Colonel Irvine A. Rendle
492nd Bombardment Group (North Pickenham airfield): Colonel Eugene H. Snavely
20th Bombardment Wing (Hardwick airfield): Colonel Jack W. Wook
93rd Bombardment Group (Hardwick airfield): Colonel Leland G. Fiegel
446th Bombardment Group (Bungay airfield): Colonel Jacob J. Brogger
448th Bombardment Group (Seething airfield): Colonel Gerry L. Mason
95th Bombardment Wing (Halesworth airfield): Colonel Frederick R. Dent, Jr
489th Bombardment Group (Halesworth airfield): Colonel Ezekiel W. Napier
491st Bombardment Group (Metfield airfield): Lt. Colonel Carl T. Goldenburg
96th Bombardment Wing (Horsham St. Faith airfield): Brigadier General Walter R. Peck
458th Bombardment Group (Horsham St. Faith airfield): Colonel James H. Isbell
466th Bombardment Group (Attlebridge airfield): Colonel Arthur Pierce
467th Bombardment Group (Rackhealth airfield): Lt. Colonel Albert H. Shower


3rd Bombardment Division: Major General C. E. Le-May
4th Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle
94th Bombardment Group (Bury St. Edmunds airfield): Colonel Charles B. Dougher
385th Bombardment Group (Great Ashfield airfield): Colonel Elliot Vandevanter
447th Bombardment Group (Rattlesden airfield): Colonel Hunter Harris, Jr
13th Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General Colonel Edgar M. Wittan
95th Bombardment Group (Horham airfield): Colonel Karl Truesdell
100th Bombardment Group (Thorpe Abbotts airfield): Colonel thomas S. Jeffrey
390th Bombardment Group (Framlingham airfield): Colonel Frederick W. Ott
45th Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General Archie J. Old Jr
96th Bombardment Group (Snetterton Heath airfield): Colonel James L. Travis
388th Bombardment Group (Knettishall airfield): Colonel William B. David
452nd Bombardment Group (Deopham Green airfield): Colonel Thetus C. Odom
92nd Bombardment Wing: Colonel Harold Q. Huglin
486th Bombardment Group (Sudbury airfield): Colonel Glendon P. Overing
487th Bombardment Group (Lavenham airfield): Colonel Robert Taylor III
93rd Bombardment Wing: Brigadier General John K. Gerhart
34th Bombardment Group (Mendlesham airfield): Lt. Colonel Ernest F. Wackwitz, Jr
490th Bombardment Group (Eye airfield): Colonel Lloyd H. Watnee
493rd Bombardment Group (Debach airfield): Colonel Elbert Helton


VIII Fighter Command: Major General W. E. Kepner
65th Fighter Wing (Saffron Walden airfield): Brigadier General Jesse Auton
4th Fighter Group (Debden airfield): Colonel Donald M. Blakeslee
56th Fighter Group (Boxted airfield): Colonel Hubert A. Zemke
355th Fighter Group (Steeple Morden airfield): Colonel William J. Cummings, Jr
356th Fighter Group (Martlesham airfield): Lt. Colonel Philip E. Tukey, Jr
479th Fighter Group (Wattisham airfield): Lt. Colonel Kyle L. Riddle
66th Fighter Wing (Sawston airfield): Brigadier General Murray C. Woodbury
55th Fighter Group (Wormingford airfield): Colonel George T. Crowell
78th Fighter Group (Duxford airfield): Colonel Frederick C. Gray, Jr
339th Fighter Group (Fowlmere airfield): Colonel Hohn B. Henry Jr
353rd Fighter Group (Raydon airfield): Colonel Glenn E. Duncan
357th Fighter Group (Leiston airfield): Colonel Donald W. Graham
67th Fighter Wing (Walcot Hall): Brigadier General Edward W. Anderson
20th Fighter Group (Kings Cliffe airfield): Lt. Colonel Harold Rau
352nd Fighter Group (Bodney airfield): Colonel Joe L. Mason
359th Fighter Group (East Wretham airfield): Colonel Avelin P. Tacon, Jr
361st Fighter Group (Bottisham airfield): Colonel Thomas J. J. Christian, Jr
364th Fighter Group (Honington airfield): Colonel Roy W. Osborn


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