Last Known Activity
Floyd Collie Doherty was born in McLennan County, Texas on January 20, 1925 (one sources says 28). His parents were Floyd C., Sr and Effie Viola Doherty. The US Census 1930 has the family living in Mount Calm, Texas, while the US Census 1940 shows them in Waco.
No enlistment records have been located for Doherty, but given his age and assignments, 1944 would be a good estimate of the date. He received training as an aerial gunner, and was assigned to a B-17 combat crew in training. He deployed with this crew to England in January 1945, and flew three credited missions.
On February 9, 1945, the bombers went after the synthetic oil plants at Lutzkendorf, Germany. As the aircraft tuned from the IP to start the bomb run, it hit another aircraft. Still under control, but unable to keep up with the formation, the pilot elected to try and make the Russian lines in Poland, the closest Allied forces. After a 45 minute flight, the aircraft crashed, but not before "bail-out" was ordered. Some crew, deeming the altitude too low, did not jump.
Russian troops and survivors retrieved five dead bodies, from the wreckage, or in the area, dead with unopened parachutes. All were buried in a Russian military cemetery. After the war, Sgt Doherty was moved to the American (Ardennes) Cemetery in Belgium where he lies in Plot B, Row 32, Grave 7.
Fields of honor-database.com/index
Abilene (TX) Republic-Journal (newspaper) issue of July 12, 1946, page 9
Sgt Floyd C. Doherty was the assigned tail gunner on B-17G # 42-31060, nicknamed "Pogue Ma Hone," assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 12245 was issued for this event. Mission loading lists show the crew to be:
1 Lt Alfred K. Nemer p
2 Lt Odus C. Litzelfelner c-p
2 Lt Harry W. Schulz nav
TSgt Howard M. Ganson tog
Sgt Floyd S. Bohrer eng/tt gun
Sgt Peter M. Volpini r/o
Sgt Marion L. Canfield btg
Sgt Paul L. Kerr waist gun
Sgt Floyd C. Doherty tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Mission loading list shows Litzelfelner as "2 Lt." All other sources indicate "Flight Officer."
In the crew photo, Doherty is in the back row, at left.