Baer, Thomas D., 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
1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 349th Bomb Squadron
Service Years
1941 - 1944
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 Baer, Thomas D., 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
349th Bomb Squadron
Thorpe-Abbots, United Kingdom

Casualty Date
Mar 06, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
West Newton Cemetery - West Newton, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)100th Bombardment Group, Heavy349th Bomb Squadron
  1941-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 100th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 349th Bomb Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Thomas D. "Teddy" Baer was born in Pennsylvania on October 9, 1917. No parentage has been established, and no early life or census records have been located.

Baer enlisted at the Presidio of Monterrey, California on October 14, 1941, as a private in the Army Air Forces. His enlistment record states he had completed 1 year of college (unnamed), and was employed as a carpenter. He was given training as an aerial gunner, and assigned to an operational unit for crew training. After training, he was assigned overseas.

Baer was an original member of the Reed crew, and flew 9 missions with that crew. He became part of a "pick-up" crew on March 6, 1944 for a bombing raid on the Bosch Magneto works at Berlin, Germany.

Over the target, the formation was attacked by numerous enemy aircraft. A firing pass riddled the aircraft, and Baer was mortally wounded. He was removed from his position by other gunners, and died in the aircraft. Another gunner took his place as tail gunner.

The aircraft was severely damaged, and suddenly took an upward surge. The tail assembly broke off as the aircraft exploded. The gunner was trapped in the tail gunner position, and fell to earth with the tail section. German troops found him alive, but severely injured. He spent almost a year in a hospital before being sent to a POW camp.

The dead were evidently recovered. They were buried in a local cemetery in Quakenburg, a town near the target area. After the war, they were retrieved and moved to other cemeteries. SSgt Baer is presently buried in the West Newton Cemetery in West Newton, Pennsylvania.
NARA Enlistment Records


SSgt Thomas D. Baer was acting as tail gunner on B-17G # 42-31731, unnamed, assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 3019 was issued for the loss of this aircraft and crew. Crew rosters show the crew was composed of:

1 Lt Albert F. Amiero  p
F/O Howard L. Kilmer  c-p
2 Lt Albert P. Rule  nav
SSgt Thomas S. Elliott  togg
TSgt Russell G. Gilbert  eng/tt gun
TSgt John J. Kovacs  r/o
SSgt Virgil F. Summers  btg
SSgt Hobart H. Spires  wg
SSgt Owen D. Stockton  wg
SSgt Thomas D. Baer  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

SSgt Owen Stockton was the only survivor

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