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George R. Demers was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on February 24, 1924. He attended Lynn Classical High School where he excelled on the varsity track and football teams. After graduating, he was exempt from military service as an only child, but he begged his mother to sign papers giving him permission to enlist.
He joined the Army Air Corps on August 9, 1943, and was selected for pilot training, but the school soon closed, and he was transferred to Aerial Gunnery School. After graduation from this course, he was trained as a combat crew member on the B-29 aircraft. He was assigned to the 881st Bomb Squadron of the 500th Bomb Group, operating from the island of Saipan in the Mariannas Islands.
On May 24, 1945, his aircraft took part in a multi-plane raid on Tokyo. His crew's target was the Tokyo dock area, which it bombed successfully. After bombing the docks, the aircraft was hit by flak and crashed into Tokyo Bay.
After the war, several sets of remains buried as "Unknowns" were removed from a Japanese military cemetery, and identified as this crew. All remains were placed in one casket and the casket was buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery where it lies today, marked by a bronze plaque inscribed with the 10 missing crew member's names.
Lynn Classical High School has elected Sgt. George R. Demers to the Hall of Fame, and in 1997, Sgt. George R. Demers Square was dedicated in Lynn.
Sgt George R. Demers was the right side gunner on B-29 #42-63486, known only as "Z Square 7" because of the organizational markings on the vertical tail surface.
The full account of the events of the mission, the flight, and the loss of this aircraft are described in detail on the Remembrance profile of Captain Eugene M. Thomas, Jr., and will not be duplicated here.
Missing Air Crew Report 14488 applies.
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