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LT  Raymond E. COMER

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM

Newspaper story on Lt Raymond Comer getting Air Medal. (Courtesy of Matt Mabe)

SERIAL #: O-777438 STATUS: POW
MACR: 11359 CR: 11359

Comments1: 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (SEE ROJOHN MEMO)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT   CHARLES W. WILSON            P CPT 15 APR 45 ROYAN                                   sn# O-526414
2ND LT   JAMES M. HARBISON            CP CPT 04 APR 45 KIEL  (Pilot of Lt Dewey Crew)  sn# O-775881
F/O        JACK BERKOWITZ              NAV POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (WITH MacNAB)
2ND LT   RAYMOND E. COMER, JR.   BOM POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (WITH MacNAB)      sn# O-777438
    CPL   EMERY N. CASTLE            ROG NOC       sn# 37523614
    CPL   NORMAN G. NANCE           TTE NOC       sn# 19171578
    CPL   JAY D. KENDELL               BTG NOC       sn# 39908662
    CPL   GEORGE L. PESLER            WG CPT 24 MAR 45 STEENEIJK/ ZIEGENHAINE  sn# 35051164
    CPL   ARCHIE E. HOFFPAUIR         WG NOC       sn# 38266722
    CPL   JACK R. DeBORDE              TG NOC         sn# 39615579

350th Sqdn. Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 29 Sep 44.

15 Missions of Lt Harbison with Lt Charles "Hong Kong" Wilson Crew (mpf 2003)

DATE             TARGET

15 OCT 44      COLOGNE
17 OCT 44      COLOGNE
19 OCT 44      LUDWIGSHAVEN & MANNHEIN, OIL REFINERY
26 OCT 44      HANOVER, TANK WRKS & MITBURG
30 OCT 44      MERSEBURG (RECALLED/ WEATHER)
02 N0V 44      MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY
24 DEC 44      BABENHAUSEN, KAISERLAUTERN
25 DEC 44      KAISERLAUTERN
31 DEC 44      HAMBURG (flying lead, high squadron with Maj Harry Cruver, Lt Harbison was formation officer on this mission)
06 JAN 45      ANNWEILER
10 JAN 45      COLOGNE
14 JAN 45      DERBEN
28 JAN 45      DUISBURG (believe with different 1st pilot since HK was now pilot of Lt Fowler Crew-mpf 2003)
03 FEB 45      BERLIN      (believe with different 1st pilot since HK was now pilot of Lt Fowler Crew-mpf 2003)
06 FEB 45      CHEMNITZ (believe with different 1st pilot since HK was now pilot of Lt Fowler Crew-mpf 2003)


CREW

DATE: 31 December 1944                  350th Sqdn.       A/C #43-38457  Nine Lives

MISSION: Hamburg                                            MACR #11359,Microiche 4180

1st Lt William G.MacNab             P      KIA
2nd Lt Nelson B.Vaughan           CP      KIA
2nd Lt Jack Berkowitz             NAV    POW From C.W. Wilson crew
2nd Lt Raymond E.Comer, Jr.    BOM    POW From C.W. Wilson crew
 T/Sgt Henry S.Ethridge           ROG    KIA
 T/Sgt Jo6eph A.Chadwick      TTE    POW
 S/Sgt Edward L.Woodall,Jr.    BTG      POW
 S/Sgt Duane F.Rench            WG     KIA
 S/Sgt Francis J.Seyfried         TG      KIA

350th Sqdn.    Joined 100th on 26 AUG 1944. L.R. DeLmolino became a Intelligence Specialists in the 351st. 
 Charles J.Scott and Douglas S. Eden were replaced for the 31 Dec 1944 Hamburg mission by Jack Berkowitz and Raymond E. Comer, both from the Hong Kong Wilson crew and both became POWs. Scott and Eden moved up to Lead Navigator and Lead Bombardier after the crew's 16th mission and were flying at the end of hostilities.

EYEWITNESS: "At 1250 hours,19,000 feet,2 B-17's believed to be A/C 43-38457 and
             A/C 42-31987 pancaked together,circled and crashed,still attached to
             each other.Six chutes were seen before the A/C landed,most of them are
             believed to have fallen on land.There was no fire from the A/C in the
             air or on the ground although there was some smoke."

p.91/92 of CONTRAILS gives U8 a bit more graphic picture.  "Lt.W.MacNab was leading
the "C" Squadron low flight. Lt.G.Rojohn flew behind and high.In the fierce aerial
struggle,both MacNab and his co-pilot,Lt.N.Vaughan,had been wounded.Their ship rose
periously toward Rojohn's,who had moved in after Webster had been downed. A collision
seemed unavoidable.
There was a sickening thud as the planes made contact.They shuddered and locked, headed
out over the North Sea.The engines of MacNab's lower plane were smoking. Rojohn and his
co-pilot,Lt.W.Leek,immediately cut their engine switches,avoiding a probable
explosion.
The situation was something too fantastic for even Hollywood to simulate.The two planes
clung together as Rojohn and Leek battled the controls,and by sheer strength,managed
to slowly turn the eight enginied monstrosity toward land.
T/Sgt Chadwick bailed out while ths planes were still over water,but his chute fortun-
ately did not collapse,and he was washed ashose . . . S/Sgt. E.Woodall,also from MacNab's
ship ,landed in water and managed to reach shore. . . . . Chadwick was taken into
custody that night,together with navigator J.Berkwitz,bombardier R. Comer and Woodall.

Seven men,T/Sgt.O.Elkin,T/Sgt.E.Neuhaus,Sgt.J.Shirley,S/Sgts.J.Russo,R.Little,F.Chase,
and Lt.R.Washington bailed out of Rojohn's ship. . . . The fate of Russo,Little and
Chase was unknown

Rojohn and Leek continued to fight the controls,using the engines of the lower aircraft,
and rode the grafted bird in for a landing.
There have been amazing stunts pulled in the colorful and courageous history of mans
will to fly, from the days of Daedalus and Da Vinci to the days of the brother Wright
and Billy Mitchell,but none more strangely heroic than the day Rojohn and Lesk safely
crash-landed their two planes pick-a-back on a field in North Germany."
*********************************************************************************************************

From: comer5@consolidated.net
To: mpfaley@aol.com
Sent: 3/11/2009 10:22:06 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: Reporting the death of a 100th BG veteran.

 
Dear Michael Faley,
 
  I am reporting the death of my father, Raymond Ermund Comer, Jr., who was a veteran of the 100th BG.                                
  He past away on March 6, 2009. Interment will be at Houston National Cemetery.
  Family contact information: Carl Comer at comer5@consolidated.net. Phone number is (936) 520-8744.
 
  Sincerely,
 
  Carl Comer            

RAYMOND E. COMER JR. 86,
BORN 11 JULY 1922
DIED 6 MARCH 2009
LAST RESIDENCE, HOUSTON, TX 77096
 
obit ran in the March 11,2009 Houston Chronicle





T

MEMO 2:

From crew of Hong Kong Wilson, he replaced Douglas S. Eden who'd been moved to Lead Crew.  Flew on MacNab crew during Piggyback Incident,

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Hamburg DATE: 1944-12-31  
AIRCRAFT: (43-38457) CAUSE: Collided with 42-31987  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 957