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427th Kahler Crew
Thomas F. Kahler, Pilot
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THOMAS F. KAHLER CREW - 427th BS
(crew assigned 427BS: 02 Feb 1945)

1Lt Thomas F. Kahler (P)(KIA)(1),
2Lt Lewis Cotton (CP)(POW), 2Lt Charles W. Smith (N)

T/Sgt Richard T. Fogarty, Jr. (Tog)(POW),
T/Sgt Lloyd Lowery (E)(POW), T/Sgt Leslie L. Latz (R)(POW)(2),
S/Sgt William A. Broughton (BT)(POW)(2), Sgt Theodore R. Smith (TG)(KIA)(1)

Waist Gunners Sgt Billie D. Frow and Sgt Walter S. Wolski were deleted from crew the when crew size was reduced from 9 to 8 men.

Substitute crewman on 17 April 1945 mission: Sgt Richard Bowler, Jr (N)(POW)(3) for 2Lt Charles Smith (N)

(KIA-POW) On 17 April 1945 on mission #362 to Dresden, Germany in B-17G #43-37597 Earthquake McGoon (427BS) GN-G. Sustained a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire in the gas tank setting the right wing on fire. Flames streamed back over the top of the B-17 and all around the bomb bay. There was a large puff of smoke, flames and debris as the B-17 exploded in the air. It went down in the vicinity of Brux, Czechoslovokia.

  1. Lt Kahler (P) & Sgt Smith (TG) - One report states that both men were murdered by German SS and civilians and their bodies were hung in a tree near Libkovice, Czechoslovokia. An official German report states that Lt Kahler body was in the wrecked B-17 and that he died from head wounds sustained in the air and that Sgt Smith died from a broken neck, leg and arm when he hit the ground in a partially opened parachute.
  2. T/Sgt Latz (R) and S/Sgt Broughton (BT) were wounded and placed in a makeshift POW hospital until the war's end.
  3. Sgt Richard Bowler (N) - Completed Navigator training at Selman Field, missed a final exam and failed to Graduate. Was transferred to Gunnery School at Kingman, AZ and flew 12 missions as Tail Gunner [See 427BS George E. Sabine Crew]. Was checked out as a Navigator by the 427BS Squadron Navigator, Capt Neubert, and was assigned to the Sabine Crew as Navigator.

[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]