Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
30 Nov 1924 2
Huron County, OHIO 2
Death:
29 Mar 1971 2
Albuquerque, New Mexico 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Jerome Urvin Rekart 2
Also known as:
Jerry Rekart 2
Person:
Jerome U Rekart 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Married 1
Birth:
30 Nov 1924 2
Huron County, OHIO 2
Male 2
Birth:
1924 1
Ohio 1
Death:
29 Mar 1971 2
Albuquerque, New Mexico 2
Edit
Birth:
Mother: Mary Langhals Rekart 2
Father: Edward Benedict Rekart 2
Marriage:
Phyllis Ann Adleman 2
1945 2
Huron County, OHIO 2
Edit

World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
09 Jan 1943 1
Army Branch:
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
35541033 1
Enlistment Place:
Toledo Ohio 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
U.S. Army Air Corps:
Ball Turret Gunner~B24 Heavy Bomber 2
Edit
Occupation:
Appliance Repairman 2
Occupation:
Apprentices to other trades 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0956 1
Film Reel Number: 5.18 1

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Jerome U. Rekart~BIO

Huron County, OHIO

Jerry & Phyllis Rekart
8 images

Jerome Urvin Rekart was born on 30 November 1924, in Huron County, OHIO, the son of  Edward Benedict Rekart and Mary Langhals Rekart, and was the youngest of 8 children.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army, on 09 January 1943, and began his service on 16 January 1943, with the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He was trained as an aerial gunner, for the Sperry Ball Bottom Turret Guns aboard B-24 Liberator HEAVY Bomber Aircraft.  He was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 492nd Bombardment Group, the 856th Bombardment Squadron, serving in the European Theater of Operations and stationed in North Pickenham, England.  On 11 July 1944 on a Bombing Mission over Munich, Germany, the plane was hit and damaged by enemy Anti-Aircraft fire.  The Pilot, left the formation and headed towards Switzerland, where he was able to safely crash land the plane, at Dubendorf, Switzerland.  All 10 crew members assumed their crash landing positions and all 10 survived the rough impact, uninjured, and were interred (held as prisoners) for about three weeks.  They were then returned to the United States Military Control.

1. 1Lt. Saul (NMI) Platinsky, Pilot
2. 2Lt. Clifford L. Kennon, Co-Pilot
3. 2Lt. Francis E. Billiard, Navigator
4. 2Lt. DorseyE. Wiseman, Bombardier
5. T/Sgt. Edwin F. Kelleher, Engineer
6. T/Sgt. Jonah Sirkis, Radio Operator
7. S/Sgt. Glen E. Stultz, Right Waist Gunner
8. S/Sgt. Harold W. Gearly, Left Waist Gunner
9. S/Sgt. Jerome U. Rekart, Ball Turret Gunner
10. S/Sgt. Edward L. Clark, Ball Turret Gunner

In the Fall of 1945, Jerome Urvin Rekart, married Phyllis Ann Adleman, and they began their married life in Huron County, Ohio.  In about 1963, the Jerome Rekart Family moved to Deming, New Mexico.  Jerry and Phyllis Rekart were both very involved in their Community, and were very supportive of the local School District, and particularly active in the School's
Band Boosters Organization.  In August of 1965, Jerry opened his own business, Town and Country Appliance Service in his adopted hometown of Deming.

A few years later, Jerry became ill and fought heroicly against this enemy, but lost his battle on 29 March 1971.  He was just 46 years old.  Surviving him were his wife, Phyllis Ann Adleman Rekart, his three sons, Ted, Robert, and James, his daughter and son-in-law, Suzie and Mark Terry, III and two grandchildren, and numerous other family members, siblings, nieces, and nephews.

-------------------------------

12 April 1930 Census/Monroeville, Huron, Ohio; Roll: 1824; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 27
Household Members: Name     Age
Edward B Rekart/Head of Household/48/Widowed/1st married at 25/OHx3/Laborer/General Farm
Ladonna Rekart/Daughter/21/OHx3
Carmelitta Rekart/Daughter/19/OHx3
Edna Rekart/Daughter/15/OHx3
Rudolph Rekart/Son/14/OHx3
Dorothy Rekart/Daughter/10/OHx3
Clyde Rekart/Son/9/OHx3
Paul Rekart/Son/7/OHx3
Jerome Rekart/Son/5yrs-4months/OHx3

Living on Chapel Street in Moroeville, Ridgefield Township, Huron County, OHIO

--

World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938 - 1946
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 35541033  35541033 
NAME REKART#JEROME#U#########  REKART#JEROME#U######### 
RESIDENCE: STATE #3  Undefined Code 
RESIDENCE: COUNTY 077  Undefined Code 
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 5384  TOLEDO OHIO 
DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 09  09 
DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 01  01 
DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 43  43 
GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION -VT#  Undefined Code 
GRADE: CODE 8  Private 
BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION BI#  Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 
BRANCH: CODE 00  Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 
FIELD USE AS DESIRED #  # 
TERM OF ENLISTMENT 5  Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency,
plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 
LONGEVITY ###  ### 
SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0  Civil Life 
NATIVITY 53  OHIO 
YEAR OF BIRTH 24  24 
RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1  White, citizen 
EDUCATION 3  3 years of high school 
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 736  Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor 
MARITAL STATUS 6  Single, without dependents 
COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 7  Selectees (Enlisted Men) 
CARD NUMBER #  # 
BOX NUMBER 0956  0956 
FILM REEL NUMBER 5.18#  5.18# 
--

Records of World War II Prisoners of War, 1942 - 1946
SERIAL NUMBER 35541033  35541033 
NAME  REKART JEROME U  REKART JEROME U 
GRADE, ALPHA SGT  Sergeant 
GRADE CODE 5  Captain or Asst. superintendent of nurses or Asst. director of nurses or
Chief dietitian or Chief physical therapy aides or Sergeant or Technician 4th Grade or Lieutenant
or Petty Officer, 3rd Class 
SERVICE CODE 1  ARMY 
ARM OR SERVICE AC  Air Corps 
ARM OR SERVICE CODE 20  AC: AIR CORPS 
DATE REPORT: DAY (DD) 29  29 
DATE REPORT: MONTH (MM) 06  06 
DATE REPORT: YEAR (Y) 4  1944 
RACIAL GROUP CODE 1  WHITE 
STATE OF RESIDENCE 53  Ohio 
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION      
PARENT UNIT NUMBER      
PARENT UNIT TYPE -  Undefined Code 
AREA 7D  European Theatre: Switzerland 
LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 22  22 
LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07  07 
LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 4  1944 
SOURCE OF REPORT 1  Individual has been reported through sources considered official. 
STATUS 0  Undefined Code 
DETAINING POWER 9  Undefined Code 
CAMP      
REP      
POW TRANSPORT SHIPS      
--

1948-1949 Norwalk City Directory:
Rekart, Jerome (Phyllis A.) Occupation: Truck Driver,
Residence: 50 1/2 State Street, Norwalk, OH
Phone: 9304

1960 Elyria City Directory Listing:
Rekart, Jerome (Phyllis); Serviceman; Ryan Appliance;
Residence: New London, Ohio
--

Jerome Rekart: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Death Record
Name: Jerome Rekart
Date of Birth: Sunday  November  30, 1924
Date of Death: 29 March 1971
Est. Age at death: 46 years, 3 months
Last known residence:
 City:  Albuquerque; Alameda; Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
 County:  Bernalillo
 State:  New Mexico
 ZIP Code:  87114
 Latitude:  35.1989
 Longitude:  -106.7032
Social Security details:
 State of Issue:  Ohio
 Number:  296-12-2388
 --
Jerome U Rekart
Birth: Nov. 30, 1924
Death: Mar. 29, 1971
Burial: Santa Fe National Cemetery
Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot: V, 1995
Imported from: US Veteran's Affairs
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3879266
--
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Nationwide Gravesite Locator
REKART, JEROME U    
 SSGT   US AIR FORCE  
 WORLD WAR II  
 DATE OF BIRTH: 11/30/1924  
 DATE OF DEATH: 03/29/1971  
 BURIED AT: SECTION V  SITE 1995   
 SANTA FE NATIONAL CEMETERY  
 501 NORTH GUADALUPE STREET SANTA FE, NM 87501  
 (505) 988-6400  
--
U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006
Name: Jerome U Rekart
Service Info.: SSGT US AIR FORCE WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 30 Nov 1924
Death Date: 29 Mar 1971
Service Start Date: 16 Jan 1943
Interment Date: 31 Mar 1971
Cemetery: Santa Fe National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 501 North Guadalupe Street P. O. Box 88 Santa Fe, NM 87501
Buried At: Section V Site 1995
--
Ohio Obituary Index, 1830s-2009, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Name: Jerome Rekart
Nickname: Jerry
Birth Date: abt 1925
Death Date: 29 Mar 1971
Age at Death: 46
Death Place: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Spouse: Phyllis Adelman
Newspaper: New London Record; Norwalk Reflector, New London; Norwalk, Ohio
Newspaper Date: 01;30;30 Apr;Mar 1971
Newspaper Page: p. 3;4, col. 5;6
Years Indexed: 1920-26, 1928;1883-1903, 1965-1979, 2001-02, 2004 - current
Newspaper Repository: Hayes Presidential Library - Fremont, Oh; New London Public Library,
Oh; Hayes Presidential Library - Fremont, Oh; New London Public Library, Oh
--

Jerome U. Rekart~Military~WW II

1943-1946

Jerome U. Rekart enlisted in the U.S. Army, on 09 January 1943, and began his service on 16 January 1943, with the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He was trained as an aerial gunner, for the Sperry Ball Bottom Turret Guns aboard B-24 Liberator HEAVY Bomber Aircraft. 

To meet the high demand for gunners after the start of World War II, the Army Air
Forces began training enlisted gunners at seven schools, and fired out graduates at the
rate of 3,200 per week. That’s roughly 166,000 students per year. By September 1944,
an unbelievable 227,827 gunners had been trained.

A great percentage of gunners were volunteers who took their training seriously. Like
bombardier trainees, they knew they had but one destination after training — combat.
The “rumors” held that the average life span of a gunner was about 17 seconds. They
were trained to understand that “someone” would always be coming after their Aircraft,
and they were trained to be prepared for it. Shooting the guns wasn’t just pointing and
pulling the trigger. This was serious business. Training involved complex math. The
gunners had to learn and understand angles, curves, and velocity, such as, a bullet
shot from a moving plane, kept the forward speed of that plane, as well as its own
velocity. An important part of gunnery training was learning to anticipate an enemy
fighter's attack curve, when to lead an incoming fighter and when to shoot behind him.
The rings, or rads on the sight aided the gunner in determining where to aim. The
gunner’s job was the defense of his plane and fellow crew members and as a defense,
the gunner’s ultimate goal was to shoot down the Enemy planes.

It was the Gunner’s Vow:
“So if we’re to be the gunners, let us make this bet.”
“We’ll be the best damn gunners that’s left this station yet!”

Jerome was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 492nd Bombardment Group, the 856th Bombardment Squadron, serving in the European Theater of Operations and stationed in North Pickenham, England.  On 11 July 1944 on a Bombing Mission over Munich, Germany, the plane was hit and damaged by enemy Anti-Aircraft fire.  The Pilot, left the formation and headed towards Switzerland, where he was able to safely crash land the plane, at Dubendorf, Switzerland.  All 10 crew members assumed their crash landing positions and all 10 survived the rough impact, uninjured, and were interred (held as prisoners) for about three weeks.  They were then returned to the United States Military Control.

1. 1Lt. Saul (NMI) Platinsky, Pilot
2. 2Lt. Clifford L. Kennon, Co-Pilot
3. 2Lt. Francis E. Billiard, Navigator
4. 2Lt. DorseyE. Wiseman, Bombardier
5. T/Sgt. Edwin F. Kelleher, Engineer
6. T/Sgt. Jonah Sirkis, Radio Operator
7. S/Sgt. Glen E. Stultz, Right Waist Gunner
8. S/Sgt. Harold W. Gearly, Left Waist Gunner
9. S/Sgt. Jerome U. Rekart, Ball Turret Gunner
10. S/Sgt. Edward L. Clark, Ball Turret Gunner

The Crew's History:

http://www.492ndbombgroup.com/cgi-bin/pagepilot.cgi?page=showCrewPage&crewPage=816-Platinsky&crewTitle=Platinsky%20816
Platinsky Crew 816 Summary  
The Platinsky Crew was one of the original crews for the 492nd BG trained in Alamogordo, New Mexico. They transferred in as Crew 105 from the 331st CCTS (Combat Crew Training School) Casper, Wyoming, on 26 Jan 44. They were assigned to the 858th BS, designated as Crew 816.  
Interesting trivia: Saul Platinsky was born in Russia before his parents immigrated to the US.  
1st Lt Saul Platinsky signed out for a B-24J, 44-40159. They nicknamed their ship BATTLING BOOP. In April 1944, they flew their assigned aircraft to North Pickenham, England, via the southern route. Their co-pilot, Lt Kennon, and Sgt Cearley went to England on the Queen Elizabeth. The Squadron Assistant Operations Officer, 2nd Lt Rankin, and a radio mechanic, M/Sgt Donnelly, took their places.  


During the trip to England Lt Rankin became ill. By the time they reached Trinidad his temperature was 105 degrees. The crew was stuck there for nine days until another co-pilot was brought in to take them to England. Upon arrival the unknown co-pilot went back to his unit. Lt Rankin recovered and rejoined the Group at a later date.  


By our count Lt Platinsky flew as the aircraft commander for Crew 816 for a total of 21 missions. We can't be positive of all of the personnel changes that may have been made on some of their missions. It's always possible that the bombardier could have missed some of the pathfinder-led missions.

 
The Platinsky Crew flew their share of the tough missions. One was the 29 May mission to Politz when their nose was riddled by the machine guns of an enemy fighter thus shattering the plexiglass on the bombardier's window into thousands of flying splinters. In between the window and Lt Billiard was his traveling boots ( taken onboard in case of bailout ) which absorbed most of the glass. His spare boots were completely desinagrated as they saved his life. A bullet went through the electric boots he was wearing but somehow it did not even scratch him. The event was nothing short of a miracle.

 
On 19 Jun 44 the 858th was dismantled. Its staff was reassigned to Cheddington as the 8th Composite Command for leaflet dropping. The air crews and planes were reassigned to the other three squadrons. Thus the 492nd became a three squadron group. Each squadron was allowed to have 24 crews instead of the traditional 18 crews. The Platinsky Crew was reassigned to the 856th BS and redesignated as Crew 605.  


The Platinsky Crew had several narrow escapes from the German wrath but on 11 Jul 44, they almost didn't make it at all. On that bombing mission to Munich they caught an excessive amount of flak damage. Making it back to England was virtually impossible. They were, however, able to hang on and take their crippled plane to Switzerland where all ten men were interned. MACR 6935.  
 
A/C: 44-40159~BATTLING BOOP  
 
A/C: 42-95230  
 
A/C: 42-95132  
 
A/C:42-51091~BANGIN' LULU  
 
A/C: 41-29470  
 
A/C: 42-50391~OLD 75  
 
A/C: 42-95196  
 
A/C: 44-40142~SKNAPPY  
 
Original Roster for Platinsky Crew 816  
 
Position / MOS Name Rank Serial # Notes
Pilot MOS 1024 Platinsky, Saul 1st Lt O-806331 Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Seen name as Platinski
Co-Pilot MOS 1024 Kennon, Clifford L 2nd Lt O-755360 Arrived to UK via the Queen Elizabeth
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Navigator MOS 1034 Billiard, Francis E 2nd Lt O-711304 Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Bombardier MOS 1035 Wiseman, Dorsey E 2nd Lt O-752732 Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Engineer MOS 748 Kelleher, Edwin F S/Sgt 37440912 Promoted T/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Radio Operator MOS 757 Sirkis, Jonah S/Sgt 11070472 Promoted T/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Tail GunnerMOS 748 Clark, Edward L Sgt 20422622 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Ball Turret Gunner MOS 612 Rekart, Jerome U Sgt 35541033 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Right Waist Gunner MOS 748 Stultz, Glen E Sgt 17060979 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
Left Waist Gunner MOS 612 Cearley, Harold W Sgt  19376312 Arrived to the UK via the Queen Elizabeth; Promoted S/Sgt

Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6935
 
Others Who Flew with Platinsky Crew 816  
Co-Pilot MOS 2161 Rankin, John G 2nd Lt O-659758 858th Asst Operations Officer
Flew to England with the crew, Promoted 1st Lt; Transferred to 856th as pilot of Crew R-50
RadioMechanic  MOS 752 Donnelly, Harry A M/Sgt 36316726 Flew to England with the crew
Transferred to 859th 30 Jul, MOS changed from 752 to 750
 
Platinsky Crew 816 492nd BG Mission Record 858th Bomb Squadron  
 
Crew  Mission Number Group Mission Number Group Mission Date Aircraft Serial Number Primary Target Mission Notes
01   02   12 May 44 44-40159 Zeitz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
02   03   13 May 44   Tutow, Germany Target: Airfield
03   06   21 May 44 44-40159 Siracourt, France Target: Crossbow (V-1 rockets)
04   08   24 May 44 44-40159 Melun, France Target: Airfield
05   09   25 May 44 44-40159 Belfort, France Target: Marshalling yard
06   11   28 May 44 42-95230 Zeitz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
07   12   29 May 44 42-95132 Politz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
08   13   30 May 44 42-51091 Rotenburg, Germany Target: Air depot
09   16   4 Jun 44 42-51091 Avord, France Target: Target: Airfield
10   17   6 Jun 44 44-40159 Normandy, France Target: D-Day invasion coast
11   23   11 Jun 44 41-29470 La Possonniere, France Target: Marshalling yard
Aborted, credit unconfirmed
12   25   12 Jun 44 41-29470 Dreux, France Target: Airfield
13   27   14 Jun 44 42-95196 Chateaudun, France Target: Airfield
14   28   15 Jun 44 44-40159 La Frilliere, France Target: Railroad bridge,  Bombed target in Le Mans
15   29   17 Jun 44 44-40142 Melun, France Target: Airfield; A/C borrowed from 856th BS
Bombed with another group
16   33   19 Jun 44 42-95196 Courbronne, France Target: Crossbow (V-1 rockets)
Mission Record with the 856th Bomb Squadron as Crew 605  
17   40b   25 Jun 44 42-95196 Roye, France Target: Peronne Airfield
18   41   27 Jun 44 42-95196 Creil, France Target: Marshalling yard
Bombed w/44th BG
xx   42   28 Jun 44   Saarbrucken, Germany Target: Marshalling yard
Scrubbed
19   44   4 Jul 44 42-95196 Beaumont-le-Roger, France Target: Airfield
Bombed with the 44th BG
20   47   8 Jul 44 42-95196 Alost, Belgium Target: Railroad bridge
21   48   11 Jul 44 42-95196 Munich, Germany Target: Railroad station
Lost: 10 interned in Switzerland, MACR 6935
==
Platinsky 331st CCTS Crew 105 Summary
 
The Platinsky Crew completed their CCTS (Combat Crew Training School) with the 331st CCTS in Casper, Wyomong. They were in the second batch of crews transferred to the 492nd in Alamogordo, New Mexico on 26 Jan 44.  After arriving to Alamogordo this crew only had one change in personnel.  The Platinsky Crew was assigned to the 858th BS designated as Crew 816.  
 
Platinsky Crew 816  
 
Original Roster Platinsky CCTS Crew 105  
PositionMOS Name Rank Serial # Notes
PilotMOS 1024 Platinsky, Saul 1st Lt O-806331 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Sometimes his name is found spelled Platinski.
Co-Pilot MOS 1024 Kennon, Clifford L 2nd Lt O-755360 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Navigator MOS 1034 Seta, Joseph A 2nd Lt O-692344 Reassignment unknown.
Bombardier MOS 1035 Wiseman, Dorsey E 2nd Lt O-752732 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Engineer MOS 748 Kelleher, Edwin F S/Sgt 37440912 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Radioman MOS 757 Sirkis, Jonah S/Sgt 11070472 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Gunner MOS 748 Clark, Edward  Sgt 20422622 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Gunner MOS 612 Rekart, Jerome U Sgt 35541033 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Gunner MOS 748 Stultz, Glen E Sgt 17060979 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
Gunner MOS 612 Cearley, Harold W Sgt 19376312 Assigned to the 858th BS as Crew 816.
--
Manufacturing Data
Serial Number 42-95196
Model B-24H
Manufacturer Ford - Willow Run, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Production Block B-24H-25-FO
Color Silver aka NMF (Natural Metal Finish)

Group Data
Date Assigned to 492nd Replacement aircraft for the 858th BS
Flew its first mission 24 May 44; Obtained From Replacement Depot
Flyover Pilot unknown ; Total Missions w/492nd 23
Total WWII Missions 23
 
Notes
• 858th Squadron Code: 9A  
• Tail Code: L  
• To our knowledge this aircraft was never given a nickname or had any nose art painted on it.  
 
• Transferred to the 856th BS when the 858th was cut from the group. Replaced 44-40143
MARY ELLEN which was lost the very next day. Therefore, it was able to keep the tail letter L.  
• 856th Squadron Code: 5Z  
• Tail Code: L  
• 11 Jul 44: Lost by flak, w/Platinsky Crew 816  
• 10 interned in Switzerland, MACR 6935  
• This aircraft was replaced with 42-50486.  
---
BATTLING BOOP after being interned in Sweden on 18 Jun 44  
Manufacturing Data
Serial Number 44-40159 ; Model B-24J
Manufacturer Consolidated - San Diego, California
Production Block B-24J-150-CO ; Color Silver aka NMF (Natural Metal Finish)
 
Group Data
Date Assigned to 492nd Original aircraft for the 858th BS
Obtained From Consolidated ; Flyover Pilot 1st Lt Saul Platinsky Crew 816
Total Missions w/492nd 14 ; Total WWII Missions 14
 
Notes
• There is a lot of confusion as to if this plane was BATTLING BOOP, BOTTLING BOOP or even BOOTLING BOOP. Although the artwork is a little sloppy, it can't be the latter because the noseart defintely has a double T in it. Other than that no one really knows for sure. Bottling is an old expression for when an audience throws things at performers for a bad act. Perhaps used for this plane as its goal with to throw bombs at Hitler's Fortress Europe. We are sticking with BATTLING BOOP because that's what it looks like in the photo... to us anyway.  
 
• 858th Squadron Code: 9A  
• Tail Code: H- (underlined)   
• 18 Jun 44: Lost w/D Miller Crew 810  
• 11 interned in Sweden, MACR 6767   
• Seeing how the 858th was cut from the Group the day after this plane was lost, it was not replaced.
At least not with the 858th. When the replacement plane did come it went to another squadron.  
 
=========================================================
The Mighty 8th Air Force had great expectations for the 492nd Bomb Group. As one of the last groups deployed to England, they arrived with more experienced men within their ranks than any other group serving in the European Theater (ETO). They had more flying hours going into the war than most would have at war's end. Many of them were the instructors that had trained many of the airmen during the arms buildup while others were veterans of Anti-Submarine patrols that had been defending America's coast. Some had already completed a combat tour and had volunteered for a second one.  
 
 As America's buildup was nearing its completion, these men were allowed to put in for combat duty. They represented America's best. As one of the last heavy bombardment groups assembled, they were the first group ever to:  
•  pass their POM (Preparation for Overseas Movement) inspection and depart ahead of schedule,
•  fly as an all-silver (unpainted aluminum) bomber group and  
•  reach England without losing any planes.
 
Yet with their superb level of proficiency, the fortunes of war went against them:
•  They suffered more casualties and losses in 89 days than any other B-24 group.  
•  They became the first and only group in the ETO to be disbanded due to high casualties.
 
 Tough Luck, Hard Luck, Bad Luck, Ill-Fated and Jinxed are among the many phrases used to describe this group's fate during its 89 days of combat service in World War II. At the time, there was no official nickname for the 492nd Bomb Group. General Doolittle and his staff dubbed them the Hard Luck Group. Many years after the war the 492nd Association adopted the name The Happy Warriors, the old unofficial nickname for the 859th Bomb Squadron.  
 
There was nothing the group did or didn't do to deserve their hard luck. However, history has proven that their silver planes made them easier for the enemy to find as the reflecting sunlight would serve as a beacon. On a number of occasions they found themselves caught by the Luftwaffe without fighter protection on a few very costly missions. Never once, though, did the group fall apart to become easy prey. They turned each potential massacre into a slug-fest, proving that they could dish it out as well as take it. Despite their high casualties, the 492nd always punched their way through and succeeded in nailing their target!
 
 The group flew 67 missions in 89 days. Even after their two deadliest air battles, they would crawl back into their planes the very next day to resume the maximum effort. Only bad weather ever kept them out of the air. Armed with hindsight, historians and war experts who have studied the 492nd and their missions have all reached the following conclusions:  
"They did the best they could and no one could have done any better."
 
Come summer's end, the 8th Air Force was ordered to disband one of its B-24 groups for the purpose of handing over its identity to the OSS arm in the ETO, the 801st Provisional Group aka the Carpetbaggers. This group had been sucessfully conducting covert missions for several months and were in need of a working cover. Due to their high casualties, the 492nd was chosen or as their commander Col Snavely said, "We drew the black bean."
 
 Thus, there were two very different 492nd BGs during WWII. This one, the original one, flew daylight bombing missions during the summer of 1944. The other was the OSS Carpetbaggers who flew secret missions at night.  
 
Perhaps the hardest luck to hit this group was in becoming overlooked, passed over and forgotten. As the war drew to a close, the recognition for their service and sacrifice was credited to the other 492nd group. This was absolutely necessary since the activities of the Carpetbaggers remained classified as top secret for decades. Therefore, in interest of national security, the original 492nd received nothing, not even a thanks. Although the records are now declassified, the US has yet to see fit to award any unit citation to these brave men for simply carrying out their orders.

================================================================

 

World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938 - 1946
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 35541033  35541033 
NAME REKART#JEROME#U#########  REKART#JEROME#U######### 
RESIDENCE: STATE #3  Undefined Code 
RESIDENCE: COUNTY 077  Undefined Code 
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 5384  TOLEDO OHIO 
DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 09  09 
DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 01  01 
DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 43  43 
GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION -VT#  Undefined Code 
GRADE: CODE 8  Private 
BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION BI#  Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 
BRANCH: CODE 00  Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 
FIELD USE AS DESIRED #  # 
TERM OF ENLISTMENT 5  Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency,
plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 
LONGEVITY ###  ### 
SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0  Civil Life 
NATIVITY 53  OHIO 
YEAR OF BIRTH 24  24 
RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1  White, citizen 
EDUCATION 3  3 years of high school 
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 736  Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor 
MARITAL STATUS 6  Single, without dependents 
COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 7  Selectees (Enlisted Men) 
CARD NUMBER #  # 
BOX NUMBER 0956  0956 
FILM REEL NUMBER 5.18#  5.18# 
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Records of World War II Prisoners of War, 1942 - 1946
SERIAL NUMBER 35541033  35541033 
NAME  REKART JEROME U  REKART JEROME U 
GRADE, ALPHA SGT  Sergeant 
GRADE CODE 5  Captain or Asst. superintendent of nurses or Asst. director of nurses or
Chief dietitian or Chief physical therapy aides or Sergeant or Technician 4th Grade or Lieutenant
or Petty Officer, 3rd Class 
SERVICE CODE 1  ARMY 
ARM OR SERVICE AC  Air Corps 
ARM OR SERVICE CODE 20  AC: AIR CORPS 
DATE REPORT: DAY (DD) 29  29 
DATE REPORT: MONTH (MM) 06  06 
DATE REPORT: YEAR (Y) 4  1944 
RACIAL GROUP CODE 1  WHITE 
STATE OF RESIDENCE 53  Ohio 
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION      
PARENT UNIT NUMBER      
PARENT UNIT TYPE -  Undefined Code 
AREA 7D  European Theatre: Switzerland 
LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 22  22 
LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07  07 
LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 4  1944 
SOURCE OF REPORT 1  Individual has been reported through sources considered official. 
STATUS 0  Undefined Code 
DETAINING POWER 9  Undefined Code 
CAMP      
REP      
POW TRANSPORT SHIPS      

--

U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006
Name: Jerome U Rekart
Service Info.: SSGT US AIR FORCE WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 30 Nov 1924
Death Date: 29 Mar 1971
Service Start Date: 16 Jan 1943
Interment Date: 31 Mar 1971
Cemetery: Santa Fe National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 501 North Guadalupe Street P. O. Box 88 Santa Fe, NM 87501
Buried At: Section V Site 1995

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