New England Air Museum
Gerhard "Jerry" Carl Niemann

 

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Gerhard Niemann and Belle Wringer on Tinian

 

Recent Address: 210 Sandbrook Circle, Noblesville, IN 46060
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Family Information: Parents: Carl and Charlotte; Wife: Billie Mae; Children: Max, Kurt, Krista
Hometown: Hammond, IN
Date Entered Service: February 12 1943
Service Number: 35090820
Bomb Group: 468th
Squadron: 794th
Location of Unit: Salina, KS 11/23/43
Missions Flown:
Hump Missions Flown:
Targets: Volunteered for one mission. Chiba-Urban on Tokyo Bay. A night incendiary raid. I dropped chaff from the camera hatch over the target. We lost oil pressure on #2 engine and landed at Iwo Jima.
Awards/Decorations: American Theater Ribbon, WWII Victory Medal with Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 7 Battle Stars American Service Medal, Overseas Service, Air Offensive Japan, China Campaign, Eastern Mandates, Central Burma Campaign, India-Burma Campaign, Palembang, Sumatra Air Offensive
Service Schools Attended: Pursuit Armament-Buckley Field, CO Apr 1943; Bombardment Armament-Lowry Field, CO May 1943; B-29 CFC System-Lowry Field, CO Jun 1943
Military Specialty(ies): MOS 960-Remote Control Turret Mechanic
Rank Upon Discharge: Sergeant
Crew Type: Ground crew
Airplane Serial No.& Name: 42-65279 My Buddy
Were you a POW? No
Were you interned? No
Date Transferred from the 58th:
Date Discharged from the 58th: November 14, 1945
Post-WWII Military Service:
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
Taught school in Texas for 2 1/2 years. Worked armament on B-36 production line. Joined Allison Engine Div. of General Motors in Feb 1952. Stayed for 36 years. Taught gas turbine engines to civilian and military students, many of whom were in the National Guard. Wrote and produced schematics for training manuals. Retired in 1988. Worked 9 more years for Allison which became Rolls/Royce Aerospace in 1991. Engines most familiar with: T-56 Turbo Prop, C-130, P3, E2C, Electra, Convair conversions.
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
Stayed in school at Ball State Univ. for 2 1/2 years. Allowed myself to be drafted. Asked for Air Corps and Armament school. To my amazement that's what happened. Being a part of the effort that ultimately ended the war has been satisfying. Afterward I was greatly motivated to finish college, especially after being in contact with a great variety of people in the service. Am thankful for the GI Bill which allowed me to earn a Master of Education degree.I have always been proud to have served in an aircraft related role. When the 58th first went to Kharagpur, India, there was still much to learn. CFC System computers were not yet installed. Everyone realized the situation and the job ahead and buckled down. The 58th Bomb Wing was important in determining the best ways to employ the capabilities of the B-29 in the early days of its service life. It is wonderful that the Memorial has been able to preserve an example of one of our aircraft.
Comments:

It is being said that a military volunteer is more highly motivated than a draftee. With the extent of WWII the world over, I feel most draftees realized our peril and were highly motivated thereby. The rigors of military service is an eye-opener for most young people.Having been away at school for 6 1/2 years, being away from home was no novelty for me. Perhaps a compulsory military experience would be of great benefit in the development and maturing of our young people.

Mr. Niemann passed away on September 15th 2013.

 

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Gerhard Niemann, 2003

 


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