April 16, 1919 (Weston, CT) – June 13, 1943; 24 years old
Married to Dorothy Maddock Rose in March 1943
Last local address: RFD 2, Weston (unknown connection to Norwalk)
Enlisted October 15, 1941
Service number: 31053118
Unit: 95th Bomber Group (Heavy), 336th Bomber Squadron
MIA (at sea)
Born to Charles Edward Broch (1890-1962) and Elizabeth Pennell Broch (1887-1969). Two sisters, Charlotte (1914-1997) and Lillian (1916-1980).
Awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
On 13 June 1943 60 B-17s from the USAAF attacked the U-boat pens in Kiel. 16 B-17s from 95th BG flew at the front of the formation which was attacked on the bombing run to the target. As usual the German fighters particularly attacked the front of the formation, and before it had passed the target 7-8 B-17s from 95th BG were lost. Aircraft B-17F 42-3286 is reported to have been hit after having passed the target and crashed in Kiel Bay with the loss of all onboard.
Pilot Lt Austin V. Stone, Navigator 2nd Lt. Bernard D. Sharpe, Bombardier 2nd Lt Charles D. Johnson, Top turret gunner Sgt R.D. Cloar, Radio operator Sgt Graydon W. Spellman, Ball gunner Sgt Clayton E. Broch, Waist gunner Howard Buller, waist gunner Sgt John A. Richardson and tail gunner Sgt Charles S. Bruce have no known grave.
The body of Copilot 2nd Lt Cerbert Walter was found washed ashore on Kastager beach near Nalskov on the island of Lolland and was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 26/7-1943. On 8/5-1948 his body was disinterred and evacuated to the U.S. Military Cemetery, Neuville-en-Condron in Belgium. Today he rests in Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Holland.
From The Norwalk Hour June 23, 1943
CLAYTON E. BROCH MISSING IN ACTION
Staff Sergeant Clayton E. Broch, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Broch of Weston, was reported today as missing by the War Department since June 13. The Weston lad was a gunner and assistant radio operator on “Sweet 17”, a Flying Fortress operating out of North Africa. Mrs. Broch, Weston correspondent for The Hour, received a letter yesterday from her son dated June 12. He apparently was missing after a flight the following day. Sergeant Broch entered the service in October 1941. After service with the Medical Corps, he transferred to the Air Corps and graduated last Fall from the Las Vegas, Nevada Gunnery School. He has been overseas since April.
Correction to the previous article published June 26, 1943
The report that Staff Sergeant Clayton E. Broch was reported missing in the African area should have read in the European area. He has been stationed in England since the middle of April. He was with the Eighth Army Air Force, and probably was lost in the mass raid over Kiel, Germany which took place on June 13 when 26 Fortresses failed to return.
From The Westport Herald newspaper on June 24, 1943; contributed by James L., Reference Librarian, The Westport Library
Staff Sgt Clayton Broch Reported Missing After Raid on Continent; Lillian Broch Is WAVES Enlistee
War Department Message Received By Parents in Weston Yesterday — Flying FOrtress of Which Sgt Broch is Gunner and Radio Operator Missing Since June 13 – Miss Broch, Teacher, Will Report About July 15th
Staff Sergeant Clayton E. Broch was reported “missing in action” following a bomber raid from England over the continent, only a few days after his sister, Miss Lillian Adeline Broch, was sworn in as an apprentice seaman in the WAVES. A telegram was received by Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Broch of Norfield Road, Weston, from the War Department yesterday, announcing that their son had been missing since June 13. He was a gunner and assistant radio operator on “Sweet 17,” a flying fortress heavy bomber. A letter written on June 12th by “Clayt” as he is known by his former employees at the Westport Bank and Trust company had arrived at the Broch home on Monday. Sergeant Broch had entered the service in October, 1941. After serving with the Medical Corps he transferred to the Air Corps and was graduated last fall from the Las Vegas, Nevada gunnery school. He has been overseas since April. He married Mrs. Dorothy Maddock Rose on March 4th last while on leave from a western post. She has continued working in the Westport Bank and Trust company. Miss Broch has been a fifth grade teacher at the Bedford Elementary School during the past three years. She is a graduate of Norwalk High School and the Danbury State Teachers College. She expects to report at Hunter College, U.S. Naval training station for WAVES in New York, on or about July 15. She was one of the salvage campaign officers at the Bedford Elementary School during the past school year and was secretary of the YMCA Fencing Club.
From The Westport Town Crier newspaper on June 25, 1943; contributed by James L., Reference Librarian, The Westport Library
C.E. Broch Is Missing In Action
Staff Sergeant Believed To Have Been In Fortress Flying Over Europe
Staff Sergeant Clayton E. Broch, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Broch, of Weston, has been reported missing in action, presumably lost when his Flying Fortress went down somewhere over occupied Europe. His mother and his wife, the former Dorothy Maddock Rose, who he married in March, refuse to accept the terse government message of “missing in action” as indicative of the 24-year-old soldier’s death. He had always boasted of the safety equipment he wore and had told them that his fortress flew so high there was always a fine chance of “bailing out.” They also are inclined to think Broch, who was assistant radio man and bottom turret gunner, was shot down on his first trip across the channel. The War Department reported him missing since June 13 and each of them had received a letter written June 12 which gave no indication that he had yet made his first attack flight. They feel if he had been over Europe he would have found some phrase that would have passed the censor to let them know about it. Before the sad news reached the Brochs, Clayton’s sister, Lillian, a teacher at the Bedford Elementary School, had made arrangements to join the Waves. She had passed her examinations, has been sworn in and expects to report to Hunter College in New York in about a fortnight. The flying sergeant was a native of Weston and a graduate of Staples High School where he won a year’s scholarship at the Connecticut Junior College. After that year he joined the Westport Bank & Trust Company where he stayed for four years, leaving there only to enlist. When informed of Broch’s fate, Einar W. Anderson vice president said … article ends. Trying to find the missing part.
Memorialized Tablets of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery, Coton, England
Memorialized at Coley Cemetery, Weston Road, Weston CT
On the Norfield Grange World War II marker in Weston, CT in front of the Norfield Congregational Church, 64 Norfield Road, Weston.