Scott County


Photo: Davenport high school yearbook, 1936

Lt. Gerald J. Duffy




2nd Lt. Gerald J. Duffy served as a pilot with the 526th Bomber Squadron, 379th Heavy Bomber Group of the United States Army Air Force.

While on a mission over Merseburg, Germany, the plane was hit causing it to lose two engines. Lt. Duffy, however, continued his flight back to England. Somewhere between the Rhine River and the Dutch/German border, Lt. Duffy’s plane was again struck by flak from the German’s guns. Consequently, Lt. Duffy found that he was unable to maintain level flight.

Realizing that the plane was going to crash, Lt. Duffy ordered his crew to bail out, which they did. Lt. Duffy also realized that the craft was headed toward the town of Well where he believed it would crash with the potential of taking many civilian lives. He stayed with the plane, pulled her up once more to avoid hitting the town. He then abandoned the plane, however he was too low for a successful bail out and his parachute did not completely open. He was killed in the jump.

Lt. Duffy was buried at Arcen Roman Catholic Cemetery, a few miles across the Maas River from the crash site on November 9. His body was reinterred on March 27, 1946 at the Margraten American Cemetery, Netherlands in Plot D, Row 21, Grave 5.

Of the crew:
2nd Lt. Gerald J. Duffy, pilot, KIA
2nd Lt. Keith E. Foster, co-pilot, taken POW
2nd Lt. James T. Cheney, navigator, taken POW
2nd Lt. Joseph W. Flisnick, bombardier, taken POW
T/Sgt. Richard E. Lehmann, TT gunner, taken POW
S/Sgt. Charles R. Herbison, Ro, taken POW
S/Sgt. William V. MacHulsky, BT, escaped, hid for 3 days in a haystack, helped back to his unit by local resistance groups POW
S/Sgt. James D. Kennedy Jr,, right wing gunner, taken POW
S/Sgt. Douglas L. Griffin, tail gunner, taken POW

The crew members taken prisoners were eventually taken to Stalag Luft IV (SL4).

NOTE: He is NOT buried in the Netherlands Cemetery. He is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. The plat and grave information is correct just the wrong cemetery.