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T/SGT  Edward I. ZERBLIS

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: ROG
SERIAL #: 36325832 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 00269 CR: 00269

Comments1: 25 JUN 43 BREMEN (EAC)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

Crew #1 Aircraft #42 29986 M.A.C.R. #269

Capt Oran E. Petrich  P   KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
2nd Lt Bluford B. Mullins  CP   KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
1st Lt Edward N. Jones  N   KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
1st Lt Louis B. Grate  B    NOC
T/Sgt Max P. Brim  E   KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
S/Sgt Joseph D. Bieu  WG  KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
T/Sgt Edward J. Zerblis R    KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
S/Sgt Henry H. Rutherford  BT  KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
S/Sgt Pete S. Villalobes, Jr. WG  KIA 25 June 1943  Bremen
S/Sgt James M. Strong, Jr.    TG  KIA 25 June 1943   Bremen


A complete and exact sequence of events on this mission, the first flown by the 100th, is most difficult to determine.  Of the 30 men comprising crews #1, 2 and 3, only five survived the mission and, of these, Nick Demchak is the only one who could be located by this writer. (James Brown, 100th Historian)Demchak and I agree that the 100th on this day never completed a proper assembly.  At the time of leaving the English coast, the 349th, flying low squadron, was perhaps a mile to the rear of the lead squadron led by Major Flesher of the 418th.  Both the lead and high squadrons seemed scattered all over the sky and a true Group combat formation never existed.  The atrocious weather had a part in this situation, but perhaps a larger role was that of the questionable judgment of the Group leader.

At a point a little north of the East Frisian islands, Crew #1, leading the first element, disappeared into the undercast and was not seen again. No doubt it fell victim to enemy fighters as did crews #2 and 3.

Louie Grate, regular bombardier on this crew, for some reason did not fly this first mission.  His place was taken by Lt. Stanley Morrison (KIA) who was the regular bombardier of Crew #29 of the 418th Squadron.  No further record of Grate's service with the 100th has been found...jb

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Bremen DATE: 1943-06-25  
AIRCRAFT: (42-29986) CAUSE: EAC  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Cambridge Military Cemetery  
ID: 5722