Last Known Activity
According to sources, Andrew Seman was born on February 16, 1917 in Pennsylvania. Nothing else has been located concerning his early life.
His first appearance in the military record is a notation in 301st Bomb Group records that he was wounded in action on the October 9, 1942 raid on Lille, France as a member of the Hair crew. He was transferred along with this crew to North Africa in November, 1942.
On March 22, 1943, the crew was part of a bombing raid on Palermo, Sicily, harbor. Over the target, the aircraft was hit by flak, setting the left wing fuel tank on fire. This fire spread to the interior, then the aircraft exploded. Five of the crew were killed; the rest, although some were injured, made successful parachute landings, and were captured by Italian forces before being handed over to the Germans.
All the dead were recovered, and supposedly buried in a local cemetery. After the war ended, Seman's body was recovered and returned to his family for burial. He lies today in the Sylvan Heights Cemetery in Oliver, Pennsylvania.
SSgt Andrew Seman was the assigned ball turret gunner on B-17F #42-5179, named "Junior," assigned to the 352nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16153 covers this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
1 Lt James M. Hair p
1 Lt 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," Seman is 2nd from left.