August 11, 1924 (Norwalk, CT) – June 6, 1945; 20 years old
Last local address: 21 ½ Merwin Street, Norwalk
Service number: O-2065855
Unit: 90th Bomber Group (Heavy), 400th Bomber Squadron
Missing In Action (MIA)

Norwalk High School Class of ‘42

Awarded the Air Medal three times.

Twin brother John Tierney (1924-2006) also served with Combat Engineers in Europe during the war.

Photo provided by nephew Thomas Tierney via e-mail on June 22, 2021. “Attached is a photo dated October 3, 1944. Based on the news articles I would guess it was a graduation photo of his advanced training class at Walla Walla AAF in the fall of 1944. He is the second from the right on the top row.”

From The Norwalk Hour May 22, 1945

Second Lieutenant Joseph E. Tierney, 20, son of M.J. Tierney, 21 ½ Merwin Street, was in action over Hong Kong, China, when the Jap naval strong point was blasted for the first time by Philippines based bombers of the Fifth Air Force. Flying with the famed Jolly Rogers, oldest and best-known B-24 unit in the Pacific theater, Lieutenant Tierney and his crew mates bombed facilities in the South China coast and bagged 12,500 tons of Jap shipping to add to their total of half a million tons sunk or damaged. The Liberators made the 1,500-mile round trip without fighter escort and no interception was met. Anti-aircraft fire was moderate and inaccurate. Lieutenant Tierney has flown 28 combat missions and has over 230 bombs in the air. He has been awarded the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster. The Hong Kong raid was another “first” for the Jolly Rogers who led the war’s first daytime missions against the Philippines, the Celebes (Indonesia, Halmahera (Maluku Islands), Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), and Wewak (Papua New Guinea).

From The Norwalk Hour June 18, 1945

First Lieutenant Joseph E. Tierney has been missing in action over the Philippine Islands since June 4, according to a War Department telegram received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. James Tierney of Merwin Street. Lieutenant Tierney enlisted as an air cadet July 12, 1943 and received his basic training at Greensboro, North Carolina. He was classified at the AATC in San Antonio, Texas, and trained at Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio, Selman Field, Monroe, Louisiana, and San Marco AAF, Texas, where he was commissioned as a navigator, July 13, 1944. He received advanced training at Walla Walla AAF, Washington before being sent overseas in the fall of 1944. Flying with the Jolly Rogers, Lieutenant Tierney has completed more than 34 mission and has been awarded the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster. He was a graduate of St. Mary’s Parochial School, Norwalk High School, Class of 1942, and had been employed at Hotchkiss Manufacturing Company, previous to his enlistment. Sergeant John L. Tierney, Joseph’s twin brother is now serving with the Ninth Army in Germany, recently being reassigned from the First Army Combat Engineers.

On June 6, 1945 took off from McGuire Field (San Jose) on Mindoro at 2:04 p.m. on a courier flight bound for Floridablanca Airfield on Luzon. Aboard were twenty passengers from the 400th Bomb Squadron. Weather was heavy showers off the western end of Mindoro. When the B-24 failed to arrive, it was declared Missing In Action (MIA). The circumstances for the loss are unknown. In the morning of June 7, 1945 aircraft searched for this missing B-24 until June 11, 1945 without results and the search was abandoned. All were officially declared dead the day of the mission and are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Lost on B-24L-5-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-41482

Pilot Capt Hans H. Williams, O-798626 (MIA / KIA) IA
Co-Pilot 1Lt Elmo McCarty, O-2058842 (MIA / KIA) MS
Engineer TSgt Stephen D. Baldwin, 31381429 (MIA / KIA) CT
Radio Operator TSgt Gerald S. Dolan, 37701966 (MIA / KIA) CO
Passenger 1Lt Jack M. Petrosillo, O-776018 (MIA / KIA) CA
Passenger 1Lt John B. Lawson, O-783095 (MIA / KIA) OR
Passenger 1Lt Joseph E. Tierney, O-2065855 (MIA / KIA) CT
Passenger 1Lt Robert E. Bartel, O-2037312 (MIA / KIA) IL
Passenger 2Lt Dean R. Kendall Jr., O-830121 (MIA / KIA) CO
Passenger MSgt Walter V. McCarty, 14039796 (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger TSgt Joseph X. Dunayczan, 36591345 (MIA / KIA) MI
Passenger TSgt Ralph I. Miller, 37570278 (MIA / KIA) MN
Passenger SSgt Charles E. Bacon, 37708854 (MIA / KIA) CO
Passenger SSgt James J. Barnett, 19005311 (MIA / KIA) OR
Passenger SSgt Joseph A. Gooley, 13080512 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Passenger SSgt Edward J. Jonikas, 36751329 (MIA / KIA) IL
Passenger SSgt John K. Shryock, Jr, 13200206 (MIA / KIA) PA
Passenger SSgt Franklin L. Van Beek, 17029851 (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger Sgt Wade A. Little, 35301841 (MIA / KIA) OH
Passenger Cpl Harold A. Bedrick, 12085966 (MIA / KIA) NY
Passenger Cpl William F. Erickson, 13154176 (MIA / KIA) PA
Passenger Cpl Thomas M. Knight, 14049667 (MIA / KIA) NC
Passenger Cpl Thomas F. Ward, 12041327 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Passenger PFC Arthur R. Harring, 32827105 (MIA / KIA) NY

Memorialized at Manila American Cemetery, Taguig City, Philippines

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.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I learned information about my Uncle Joe Tierney that I never knew before.


      1. I tried to send you an email at the second email address you sent me but it came back as undelivered. Do you have another email address?


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