Robert Danial Kaercher

1st Lt    0-681433    612th
North Dakota
1922 - 1944

Co Pilot aboard 42-37833 (Omar The Dentmaker)


                                                                                          Normandy cemetery, France
                                                                                          Plot : B , Row : 9 , Grave : 30.

     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

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

                         It was on Sunday morning, March 26, 1944, the crew was called to an early briefing.

   Back row: Unknown - William Carter - Frank Rothwell - Donald Roberts - Ivan Lee - Irving Lieberman
                    Front row: Michael Walsh - ROBERT KAERCHER - William Rumsey - James Haffner

     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.
     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.
     Robert 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

     Robert 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.

     Robert was buried in the Normandy Cemetery.

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