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.
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.”