Last Known Activity
Lonnie Lincoln Miers, Jr. was born in Greenville, Texas on May 1, 1918. His parents were Lonnie, Sr. and Carrie Louis Henson Miers. He grew up in the Greenville and Cushing, Oklahoma area. He graduated from Cushing High School in 1936.
He attended Oklahoma A&M College for 1 year (1939-1940), then was enrolled at Oklahoma University, but left in 1941 to join the Air Forces as an aviation cadet. Shortly after he completed the course of pilot training, he married Dorothy Mechlin Giffer.
He was assigned to the 301st Bomb Group, and deployed t England in 1942 where he flew a reported 13 missions over Europe. In November, 1942, he was transferred to North Africa, and flew bombing missions there.
On March 22, 1943, the designated targets were the docks, facilities, and shipping at Palmero Harbor in Sicily, Italy. The aircraft was hit by flak while over the target. A fire started in the left wing fuel tank, and quickly spread to the interior of the plane. The engineer and Lt Miers were fighting it when the plane exploded.
Five of the crew died in the explosion or the resulting crash. Two were severely injured, and captured by the Italians but medically treated by the Germans after three days. According to records, Lt Miers was buried in a local cemetery, then moved to the 2nd Air Force Cemetery in San Vito, Italy.
Later, his body was returned to the U.S. and buried in a common grave with that of Lt Hair, the pilot. The Internal Control Record card for Interment in National Cemeteries reads in part, "2 remains - 2 caskets. Buried in 1 grave."
Lt Miers lies in Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas in Plot G, Site 108.
San Antonio (Tex) "Light" newspaper, San Antonio, TX issue June 11, 1950
San Antonio (Tex) "Express" newspaper, San Antonio, TX issue June 13, 1950
Lt Lonnie Miers was the assigned co-pilot on B-17F #42-5179, nicknamed "Junior," assigned to the 352nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16153 was issued to cover this aircraft/crew loss. Mission loading lists state the crew consisted of:
1 Lt James M. Hair p
1Lt Lonnie L. Miers, Jr. c-p
1 Lt Alexander Yonych nav
1 Lt Emmet Cook bomb
TSgt Louis F. Patriquin eng/tt gun
Sgt Ervin E, Byrnes r/o
SSgt Andrew Seman btg
Sgt Jimmie McLaughlin wg
SSgt Douglas Upton tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
In the crew photo of "Holy Joe" after the Lille, France raid, Miers is 7th from left.
Service photo source: