DORNBACH, GERALD H., Second Lieutenant, # 0-793454, USAAF
Gerald H. Dornbach was born on 24 November 1920 in Detroit, Michigan, to Vern Ellsworth Dornbach (1897-1982) (TX) and Emma Gertrude (Hoy) Dornbach (1896-1981) (PA). Siblings were William George Dornbach (1919-1937) and Vernon E. Dornbach Jr. (1920-2002) (twin).
After enlisting in the USAAF on 28 January 1942 while living in Shamokin, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was assigned to fly the B-25 Mitchell. He was multi-engine rated and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 26 October 1943 a B-25D, # 41-30455, assigned to 14th Air Force, 11th Bomb Squadron, Klingshan, India, departed the airfield at Kweilin, China, on a mission to Kiungshan, China. The witnesses to the crash of the B-25D were 2ndLt William F. Angell, 0-735496, 2ndLt George H. Laverell Jr., 0-735609, 2ndLt Charles A. Lutton, 0-669077, and SSgt Marino R. Galluzzo, 13060516. 2ndLt Angell reported that the B-25, making a gun run on a moving gunboat, formation was attacked by enemy fighters and he saw a Zero attack the B-25 at about a 100’ range and the right wing of the B-25 seemed to explode. Parts came off from the side of the right engine nacelle. The B-25 began a slow rollover and plunged toward the water, nose down. No parachutes were seen. 2ndLt Laverell saw it hit and it went under. He saw nothing reappear. 2ndLt Lutton reiterated this. The crash was near Kiungshan, China. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His twin brother, Vernon E. Dornbach Jr, born 24 November 1920, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Corporal, # 447993 from 1 July 1943 to 17 April 1946 (overseas 1 August 1944 to 2 March 1946). He died 16 September 2002 and is buried in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California (Sec. 55A, Grave 3068).