John "Jack" Ahern, Jr.

Mr. Ahern served in World War II.

He was in the 379th Bomb group 526th Squadron as a pilot of a B-17.

Mr. Ahern was 22 years old when he went overseas. He was married to Margaret (from Cloquet) and had an 8-month-old daughter.

Mr. Ahern, recognizing that his bomber was in trouble, had the rest of the crew eject. He himself then steered the bomber away from a village, saving many lives. He lost his life in this act of heroism. He is still honored by the residents of the English village.

Source: see article, below

“A few days before Christmas 1944, during the second World War, Lieut. John J. Ahern, Jr., a 22 year old U.S. Army Air Corps pilot found his B-17G Bomber (ser. #44-8275) had got into difficulties. He directed his crew to bail out, saying he would follow them when the plane was past the houses in Bozeat. He was never to follow his crew, for after clearing the houses of Bozeat, he was killed when the machine crashed. It came down in a field behind Red Gables Farm occupied by Mr. Cyril Drage. The farm buildings were damaged by the blast, but the farmer's family were unharmed. In gratitude to Lieut. John Ahern, who thus gave his life for Bozeat, the villagers made a house-to-house collection for his mother in America, organized by the members of the Women's Voluntary Service. The American Air Force showed their appreciation of the village's act by presenting a plaque to the Church in memory of this episode of the war. Four hundred people gathered in the Church when the plaque was handed over by an American Air Force chaplain. The chaplain took part in the service, which was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. S.F.W. Powell and the lesson was read by Rev. E. Hardwick, the Methodist Minister.”


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