Boehner, Ernest John, 1st Lt

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1055-Pilot, Single-Engine Fighter
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 82nd Fighter Squadron
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Boehner, Ernest John, 1st Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Glen Elder
Last Address
Duxford, England

Casualty Date
Mar 01, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Glenwood Cemetery - Glen Elder, Kansas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight School33rd Pursuit Squadron82nd Fighter Squadron
  1943-1944, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 33rd Pursuit Squadron
  1944-1945, 82nd Fighter Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
BT-13 Valiant  AT-6 Texan  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  P-51/F-51 Mustang  
  1943-1944, BT-13 Valiant
  1944-1944, AT-6 Texan
  1944-1944, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1945-1945, P-51/F-51 Mustang
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity

Ernest J. Boehner was born on April 8, 1920, in Glen Elder, KS. He was the son of Fred and Laura Boehner, and had siblings Cecil, Mary, Ralph, and twin brother Earl.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943, and was accepted for Aviation Cadet status. He trained on the PT-23 at Cape Giradeau, MO; the BT-13 at Walnut Ridge, AR; the AT-6 at Dothan, AL; and the P-40 at Clearwater, FL. After being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and presented his wings, he was assigned to the 33rd Pursuit Squadron located at Patterson Field near Keflavik, Iceland.
In 1944, he transferred to the 78th Fighter Group, 82nd Fighter Squadron flying out of Duxford, England. Here, he became proficient in flying the P-51. The majority of the mission requirements for the 82nd Fighter Squadron was bomber escort and ground support.

He flew his first combat mission in January 1945. His last mission was as escort to bomber stream heading to the Stuttgart-Ulm-Kassel area. After completing this duty, the escorts were turned loose to seek targets of opportunity.
Near the Kassel area, close in to Bad Wildungen, Boehner and his wingman began strafing attacks on the railway marshalling yards. A 20 mm anti-aircraft gun located near the entrance to a train tunnel immediately targeted the pair. Boehner's aircraft received a direct hit while at approximately 500 feet altitude, and fell off on one wing and plummeted to the ground to crash in a clump of trees.

According to German reports, the first person to arrive on the scene was a Polish worker who stated that Boehner had been blown clear as the aircraft exploded, but was seriously wounded and died within minutes. Still according to the German report, he was buried in the cemetery at Mandern, and was later moved to Holland in 1946 His remains were later moved to a resting place in Glenwood Cemetery in Glen Elder, KS.

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #12811 applies. Included with the MACR is a statement from Captain Richard A. Merritt, his wingman that day.

"I was Surtax Leader on 1 March 1945. AS (sic) planned. we were sweeping northward in the Kassel area, strafing ground targets at about 1445 hours. I went down with my #2, Lt. Boehner, and strafed a loco in M/Y {marshalling yards} about 25 miles west of Kassel. I saw Lt. Boehner hit the loco and intense light flak started coming up at us. Lt. Boehner called and said he had been hit. I do not know whether he meant he had been hit personnally (sic) I was engaged in dodging the flak and it was about 30 seconds before I was able to look around and then I saw Lt. Boehner's plane trailing bluish smoke at 500 feet. The plane went down into some trees and exploded. I looked for a chute but didn't see one. It is possible Lt. Boehner bailed out between the time he said he was hit and I saw his plane crash. But, if he did, it was at a very low altitude."
Richard Merritt



The aircraft flown by Lt. Boehner was P-51K # 44-11652, unnamed, squadron code markings MX-E.

The Beloit, KS Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6242 held a memorial service on March 13, 2009 for Lt. Ernest J. Boehner. As part of the ceremony, the commander of the 10th Air Support Group at Fort Riley. KS presented a shadow box containing a picture of Lt. Boehner and his service awards to siblings Mary Dillon and Ralph Boehner.

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