1Lt. Bernard T. Goracke, ASN O-833083
CoPilot - McKee Crew
10th Air Force / 7th Bombardment Group / 492nd Bombardment Squadron
Enlisted: 30 Jan 43
Morrison Army Airfield Western Reserve University
Fletcher Army Airfield Greenville Army Airfield - Basic Pilot Training
Maxwell Field - Eastern Flight Training Center
George Army Airfield - Eastern Flying Training Command
Harlingen Army Airfield
17 Combat Missions 17 Hump Flights
Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster
(Images/Info Courtesy of Goracke Family)
492nd Bomb Squadron Officers, April 1945
Lt. Goracke is in forward standing row, 9th from the left. (Click image to enlarge)
Bernard T. Goracke's Wartime Recollections as recounted by his family)
"Dad served in the 492nd Squad of the 7th Group, Heavy Bombardment. His squad was part of the 10th Air Force of the Army Air Corps and was based near Tezpur (in the Assam Valley), India, in the CBI (China-Burma-India) Theater of the war.
Dad recalled that he flew about 17 bombing missions over places such as Bangkok, Rangoon, Mandalay, and the Burma Road. He also mentioned a target that I didnít fully understand, something like Moen (Moulmein?). He also flew about 17 transport missions, mostly ferrying gasoline over ďThe HumpĒ into China. He flew a supercharged B-24 Liberator airplane from August of 1944 until August of 1945. During that time he was promoted from a 2nd Lieutenant to a 1st Lieutenant and received the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf cluster. He served originally as a co-pilot and became a pilot later in his service. When he flew it was usually 2 or 3 times in a week. He flew about 900 hours total with his longest mission about 13 Ĺ hours long.
Dad enlisted in February, 1943, in Washington, DC. (Dadís enlistment record in the National Archives shows his enlistment on 1/30/43 in Miami Beach, Florida. It may be that he signed up in DC and then formally enlisted by taking his oath in Florida. His record also shows him as Bernard L. Goracke, the L referring to Lawrence, his confirmation name rather than his given middle name Theodolus. He used Lawrence at other times also.) Originally he wanted to be a navigator. His training began in West Palm Beach, Florida. He then spent 3 months at Western Reserve University near Cleveland, Ohio, where he flew Piper Cubs. From there he went to Clarksdale, Mississippi (Fletcher Army Airfield), then to Greenville Mississippi (Greenville Army Airfield, home to the AAF Basic Pilot Training School), and on to Montgomery, Alabama (Maxwell Field with its Eastern Flight Training Center; his brother Norman hitchhiked from Nebraska and met Air Cadet Goracke at Maxwell on September 18, 1943.). He then went to George Field (George Army Airfield in the Eastern Flying Training Command) near Lawrenceville, Illinois, where he got his wings and his commission. After George Field he went on to Harlingen, Texas, where he first flew the B-24 airplane. He then went to Walla Walla, Washington, where he got his B-24 and started the transport phase of his war career. Except for the 3 months at Cleveland, Dad did not say how long he spent at any of these bases.
From Walla Walla, he flew his plane to San Francisco, California and from there to Kingman, Arizona. He then flew to Huntsville, Alabama (Huntsville Arsenal Field), and on to Bangor, Maine. Next transport stop was Goose Bay, Newfoundland. From there they hopped across the Atlantic to the Azore Islands and to Tunis, Tunisia. From Tunis he went next to Cairo, Egypt, then on to Karachi, India (now Pakistan) and, finally, to Tezpur in northeastern India.
At the end of the war, he made the return trip to the US by a different route. From Tezpur he went back to Karachi and Cairo. Then he flew to Marrakesh in Morocco and then to a base (which he didnít name) on the west coast of Africa. From there, he hopped the Atlantic to Brazil (no base named) and on to Georgetown in British Guiana. Next he stopped in Puerto Rico and finally left his plane at his next stop, West Palm Beach, Florida. He was transported to Fort Meade, Maryland, where he was discharged."