3 NOV 1943
Nardi, Elmer J., 1st Lt Fallen Service Photo Service Details Last Rank
First Lieutenant Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1091-Pilot, B-17 Last Unit
1943-1943, M 1091, Bomb Units/511th Bomb Squadron Service Years
1942 - 1943
Last Photo Personal Details
California Year of Birth
1915 Home Town
Sonoma Last Address
RAF Station Polebrook, England Casualty Date
Nov 03, 1943 Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Sea Location
World War II Location of Interment
Not Specified Wall Coordinates
Last Known Activity
Elmer J. Nardi was born in Sonoma, California on April 9, 1915. He enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps on February 26, 1942 at Geiger Field, Spokane, Washington. His NARA-AAD enlistment record states he had 4 years of college (unnamed,) was single with no dependents, and was employed as a semiskilled compositor or typesetter.
He was accepted by the Aviation Cadet program for pilot training. It is not known when or where he received this training. After completing the training, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 351st Bomb Squadron that had deployed to Polebrook, England in November 1942.
Nardi began flying combat missions in July 1943, and had 25 missions, although two were not credited due to recalls. He was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant on September 8, 1943. On November 3, 1943 he and the members of his crew were scheduled as part of a bombing raid on the submarine facilities located at Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
During the bomb run, the pilot of a lower squadron B-17 was killed, losing control of his aircraft. This aircraft pitched up and struck Nardi's bomber in a mid-air collision. Although the aircraft was severely damaged, Nardi attempted to return home. Fighters attacked, and the B-17 crashed north of Wilhelmshaven near Mellum Island. Six of the crew bailed out, and landed successfully, but were later captured by enemy troops. The remaining four crew members were killed.
The Germans recovered three bodies from the wreckage of the aircraft. Lt Nardi's body was identified, and eventually returned to the U.S. for burial. He is buried in Oak Mound Cemetery in Heraldsburg, California where he lies in Section 5, Block 19.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
USAAC Accident Reports
The aircraft piloted by Lt. Nardi was B-17F # 42-29852, nicknamed "Fireball," assigned to the 511th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 1160 and loading lists identifies the crew as:
1 Lt Elmer J. Nardi p
2 Lt Harold C. Bergman c-p
2 Lt Orlyn E. Master nav
2 Lt Bradley E. Squires bomb
TSgt Frank Swica eng/tt gun
TSgt Ganusheau S. Wade r/o
SSgt John J. Yarush lwg
SSgt Harlan D. Burton btg
SSgt Donald D. Happold rwg
SSgt Henry C. Gates tail gun
Lts Nardi and Bergman along with Sgts Swica and Burton were killed.
Lt Nardi is buried in California; Lt Bergman is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at Margraten, Holland; and TSgt Swica is buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium.
Sgt Burton's body was never found.
Service Photo more Nardi, Elmer J., 1st Lt
Service Photo more
1943-1943, M 1091, Bomb Units/511th Bomb Squadron
- / 1943 To Month/Year
- / 1943 Unit
511th Bomb Squadron Unit Page Rank
First Lieutenant MOS
M 1091-Pilot, B-17 Location
Polebrook Air Station Country/State
United Kingdom Patch Bomb Units/511th Bomb Squadron Details
Combat Active Duty/Reserve
Active Duty Type
Combat - Bomber Units Existing/Disbanded
Existing Parent Unit
Bomb Units Strength
Squadron Created/Owned By
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2011 My Photos For This Unit No Available Photos 0 Wingmen Assigned To This Unit: 3 Other Members: Bergman, Harold E., 2d Lt Burton, Harlan D., SSgt Swica, Frank, TSgt Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011 Share this ShadowBox on Facebook