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Joeseph R Kerr (June 1942 )

Joe and Penny Joe at National Convention 1998

Last Name: `
First Name Middle Initial:
Nick Name:
Street:  35 NEW YORK AVE City & State: FLEMINGTON, NJ E-Mail: 
Zip: 08822-1437 Phone:  Spouse: STEPHANIE 'PENNY'
Conflict: WW II Service Branch: Army Air Corp Unit: 8 AF 482 BG, 398th BG
Theater: Where Captured: Velswijk, Holland Date Captured: 11/26/44
Camps Held In: STALAG LUFT IV How Long Interned: 151 days
liberated / repatriated: liberated Date Liberated: 4/26/45 Age at Capture: 21
Medals Received: Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, POW,Unit and Presidential Citation, European - Africa Middle East Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduc, American Campaign
Military Job: S/SGT, Ball Turrent Gunner, Assist. Radio Operator B-17 Company: RCA
Occupation after War:  MC WITH RCA

Military Bio:

Joseph r. Kerr Jr. born in Flemington New Jersey and enlisted in the army of the United State June of 1942 the day he graduated from high school. This is his Bio as written by him in 1999.
I had my training in various places such as Pocetela and Boise, Idaho – Casper Wyoming and both Tyndell and Hendricks Air Bases in Florida.
I arrived overseas June of 1943 and was assigned to the 91st Bomb Group in Bassing bourne. I flew 7 missions with the 91st bomb group.
Our Crew was picked as a model and transferred to the “Pathfinders, 482nd BG.
The Pathfinders were the only group with Radar, therefore it was there job to lead the other groups to the target on Bombing Missions. If weather obscured the targets the Pathfinders would fly to the group’s base needing a pathfinder the night before and lead the next day on the mission with there sophisticated equipment for the day. Once on target the Pathfinders would let loose their bombs and the others would follow.
Pathfinders of the 482nd led 80% of the Missions in the winter of 1943-44. They received the Presidential Citation
On My 33rd mission, Nov. 26th 1944 or B-17 “Phony Express” was hit by a flak burst over Missburg, Germany. With only one engine still operating we lost altitude and ultimatly crash landed in a field near Velswijk, Holland. We were quickly surrounded by a truck load of German Soldiers and were taken as Prisoner of War.
I ended up in Stalag Luft IV and the “8th Air Force Death March”that covered approx. 600 miles from Grosstychow to Bitterfeld and crossed Germany back and forth until we were liberated on April 26th by Hodges First Army.
I was overseas 2 years June 1943 to June 1945. Total time in service was 3 years 2 months 16 days and I was discharged Sept. 1945.
In September of 1947 I captured my wife “Penny” and she says “she has happily been Joe's POW ever since.
We raised two children, Joseph the III and a doughtier Patricia. They have given us 2 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.
I retired from RCA in March if 1985 to enjoy my grandchildren do some traveling and play some golf. Every day is wonderful!
Joe Kerr

My Message to Future Generations:

My message to future generations is this; Be proud of our great Country America and to protect our greatest symbol, its Flag. At the age of 19 I enlisted to serve our country in a tme of need and it was one of the most fulfilling times in my life. Experiences as a POW taught me how precious our freedom is and how easily it can be lost. Freedom is not Free God Bless America and the Red, White and Blue.

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