Pearson, Jasper C., SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1943
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Pearson, Jasper C., SSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
353rd Bomb Squadron
St. Donat, Algeria

Casualty Date
Jul 27, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Mediterranean Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Sicily-Rome, Italy
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)301st Bombardment Group, Heavy  353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 611, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Jasper C. Pearson was born, according to records, in California on February 26, 1906. According to his NARA enlistment records, he enlisted at Fort MacArthur, California on March 12, 1942. The enlistment forms further state he had completed 3 years of high school, and was employed as a farm hand.

He was selected for flight duty, and trained as an aerial gunner. He was assigned overseas, probably in the first part of 1943 to a combat crew in North Africa.. Given his awards, he probably flew at least 20 missions, mostly over Sicily and the Italian mainland. (See note under crew listing for explanation of awards and combat tour lengths.)

On July 27, 1943, the crew was tasked with participating in a bombing raid at Capua, Italy, near Foggia. On the bomb run, everything was normal. The bomb bay doors opened, the bombs fell in trail, but observers noted that after the drop, the bay doors did not close. They also noted the absence of anyone in the top turret, a position usually occupied by the flight engineer. This led to speculation that a malfunction had occurred, and the engineer was attempting to clear it.

Suddenly, the ship nosed upward, almost colliding with another aircraft. The pilot immediately "dumped the nose," and the aircraft went into a steep dive, and plunged into the sea. Observers noted several parachutes out, but there was only one survivor.

No remains or personal effects were recovered, and one year later, a Finding of Death (FOD) was issued for the missing crew. Pearson is remembered on the Walls of the Missing in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. One source (findagrave lists his burial in the San Joaquin National Cemetery in California, but that is a memory stone as the American Battlefield Monuments Commission still has a record of him on the Walls of the Missing. (No remains recovered.)
NARA Enlistment Records


SSgt Jasper C. Pearson was assigned as the ball turret gunner on B-17F # 42-3170, not named, assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 339 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists state the crew on board was:

1 Lt Denis G. Booker  p
2 Lt Robert T. Dix  c-p
2 Lt Harvey P. Harrington  nav
2 Lt Bernard Turansky  bomb
SSgt William L. Hayes  eng/tt gun
SSgt Freeburn V. Rosheger  r/o
SSgt Jasper C. Pearson  btg
SSgt Eugene B. Fleming  wg
SSgt Fred S. Luke  tail gun
SSgt Charles A. Hurlbutt  photo

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Sgt Hayes was the only survivor.

Crew combat tours varied throughout the theater. Some units required 25 credited missions; other had limits extending up to 50. The awarding of Air Medals was generally set at one award for each 5 missions; however, some instances have been found of requirements of 7 to 10.

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