LITZ, HERMAN, Staff Sergeant, # 17035785, USAAF
Herman (NMI) Litz was born on 17 February 1915 in Saint Paul, Ramsey Co., Missouri, to John Litz (1884-1963) and Emma (Lange) Litz (1890-1973). Siblings were Esther (Litz) Siegl (1910- ), Arthur Litz (1913-1992), Harold Litz (1917-2006), and Reuben Jonathan Litz (1920-1992).
He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, employed by Armour & Co., resided at 706 N. Robert St., Saint Paul, Minn., and described himself as 5’10”, 160 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He noted that he had a short third finger on his right hand. He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, on 12 November 1941. He was trained to maintain the weapons (armorer-gunner) and fire the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. He was trained to serve as an assistant radio operator. On 14 November 1943 a B-24J, # 42-73194, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, Pandaveswar, India, departed the airfield and joined a formation of other B-24s on a mission to bomb Pokokku, Magway, Burma; west of and very near the Irrawady River. Witnesses to the crash were 1stLt Leland G. Berlette, 0-661915, 2ndLt Glenn F. Stephens, 0-797631, and 1stLt William G. Clark, 0-662023. 1stLt Berlette reported that he saw that 1stLt McLoughlin’s B-24 was hit in one engine. The tail gunner saw 1stLt McLoughlin trying to make a crash landing. His left wing dropped and the B-24 hit nose down, bursting into flame immediately. It disintegrated on impact. No one saw any parachutes or survivors. After recovery from Burma and then India, Lt. Roger’s remains and those (indistinguishable) of other crewmen (Funderburg, Higgs, Litz, Swope & Whitsell) were buried in a group burial and ceremony in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky (Sec. E, Graves 163-164). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His brother, Reuben J. Litz, born 19 August 1920, served in the U.S. Coast Guard, MOMM1, from 5 October 1942 to 7 December 1945. He died 8 March 1992 and is buried in the Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., Minnesota.