Last Known Activity
Homer W. Goff was born on December 31, 1920 in Charleston, West Virginia. His parents were Rankey A. and Bessie R. Goff. Both the US Censuses 1930 and 1940 show the family residing in Charleston.
After early education, he entered, and graduated from, the University of West Virginia. While there, he was member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. On May 22, 1943, he married Marion Roberts.
He entered military service shortly thereafter, and was trained as a bombardier. He was then assigned to a B-17 combat crew training in South Dakota. He deployed later with this crew, arriving in England in August, 1944. He flew 4 credited missions with this crew.
On September 28, 1944, he and the crew were tasked as part of a bombing raid on German manufacturing facilities in Magdeburg, Germany. Just as the formation departed the IP, it was attacked by 40 German fighters. In one firing pass, nine of eleven B-17s in Low squadron were shot down.
The aircraft on which Goff was serving was riddled with 20mm cannon shells from tail to nose. A large hole was blown in the left wing, behind the two engines. A group of shells exploded in the radio room, setting fires. Two parachutes were observed just as the ship exploded into 5 large pieces which fell to the ground near Brunswick.
Goff successfully landed in his parachute, but was captured by local civilians. They turned him over to a police sergeant who marched Goff into some woods where he shot him in the back of the head, killing him. The sergeant then returned to the the townspeople and told them that Goff evidently had injured himself because he "bled to death," After the war, the police sergeant was tried and for this murder and convicted.
German records state that 8 bodies were recovered from near the crash site, and buried in a local cemetery. In 1948, Allied personnel, investigating a supposed mass grave near Brunswick said to contain 35 Russians, discovered an additional body in an adjacent hollow. Further investigation led to the discovery of 7 additional bodies, all American and eventually identified as the Glasgow crew.
These bodies were recovered and moved to other cemeteries. Lt Goff was moved to the American Cemetery in Margraten, Holland where he lies today in Plot P, Row 11, Grave 10.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Charleston (WV) Gazette newspaper, issue May 25, 1944, pg 6
Charleston (WV) Gazette newspaper, issue December 25,1943, pg 4
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record card (completed by wife)
Lt Homer W. Goff was the assigned bombardier on B-17G # 44-8335, unnamed, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 9405 and German records appended give details of this aircraft/crew loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
1 Lt Charles G. Glasgow p
2 Lt George H. Ashford c-p
2 Lt John H. Cashman nav
2 Lt Homer W. Goff bomb
Sgt Hilaire E. Lisabeth eng/tt gun
Sgt Robert T. Britz r/o
Sgt Jethern J. McConathy btg
SSgt John H. McGlinn waist gunner
Sgt James T. Miller tail gun
Note: Grades and ranks as of mission date.
Note: Glasgow was the only survivor.
In the crew photo, Goff is in the front row, at right.
Service photo source: