FIRST LIEUTENANT HERBERT WILLIAM CHOUINARD; U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE

December 19, 1922 (Montville, NJ) – November 2, 1944; 21 years old
Engaged to Jean Hodgeman of Norwalk
Last local address: 2 Gregory Boulevard, East Norwalk
Service number: O-818112
Unit: 91st Bomber Group, 401st Bomber Squadron

Born to Edmund H. (1899-) and Bertha Rost Chouinard (1898-1970). Bertha remarried to Howard Keppler in June 1946 in Norwalk. Brothers John E. (1921-2003) and Richard E. (1930-2011). One sister, Anne E. Chouinard Finch (1924-2015).


He was awarded the Air Medal (2 times) and the Purple Heart Medal.


Norwalk High School Class of ‘39


Herbert served as a First Lieutenant & Pilot on B-17G “The Jub Jub Bird” #42-31883, 401st Bomber Squadron, 91st Bomber Group, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. B-17G #42-31883 took off, with a crew of 9, from Station 121, England on a bombing mission over Merseburg, Germany. Shortly after a successful bombing run, they were hit by ground anti-aircraft fire under the pilot’s position and crashed and exploded near Leipzig, Germany.


Photos provided by family member Don Finch of Norwalk.

This was the last crew of “The Jub Jub Bird” as it was shot down on 2 November 1944 on the Merseburg mission. Luther E. Salter (KIA), Arnold E. Kramer (POW), James A. Foltz (KIA), Hershel W. Bowers (KIA), Carroll B. Tallant (KIA), Herbert W. Chouinard (KIA), Daniel DeBonis (KIA), James F. Hundley (KIA), Ray L. Nickola (POW). Leon B. Wagner did not go on the 2 November 1944 mission but completed his tour as Tail Gunner with the Richard N. Broughton crew. BACK ROW – LEFT TO RIGHT: Sgt. Luther E. Salter, Top Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. Arnold E. Kramer, Waist Gunner; Sgt. James A. Foltz, Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. Leon Wagner, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Hershel W. Bowers, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Carroll B. Tallant, Tail Gunner FRONT ROW – LEFT TO RIGHT: 1st. Lt. Herbert W. Chouinard, Pilot; 2nd Lt. Daniel DuBonis, Navigator; 2nd Lt. James F. Hundley, Bombardier; 2nd Lt. Ray L. Nickola, Co-pilot

Airmen who perished on B-17G #42-31883:

Bowers, Herschel W. ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, PA
Chouinard, Herbert W. ~ 1st Lt, Pilot, CT
DeBonis, Daniel ~ 1st Lt, Navigator, NY
Foltz, James A. ~ Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner, OH
Hundley, James F. ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, SC
Salter, Luther E. ~ Sgt, Engineer, VA
Tallant, Carrol B. ~ S/Sgt, Tail Gunner, AR

Those who survived the crash and became POWs:

Kramer, Arnold E. ~ S/Sgt, Waist Gunner, IN
Nickola, Ray L. ~ 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, PA


Lt Chouinard is buried in Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold France, Block E, Row 12, Grave 35. Photo provided via e-mail on 10/10/2019 by Joe A., Assistant Cemetery Superintendent, Lorraine American Cemetery, Avenue de Fayetteville 57500, Saint-Avold, France

A note with the e-mailed picture, said: ““Attached you will find a photo of 1Lt. Chouinard’s headstone.  We placed an American and French flag alongside the headstone and put sand from the beaches of Normandy into the engraved letters.”


END

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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