Staff Sergeant Herbert L. Kerley #6296890 US Army Air Forces was born at Avara, Texas, the son of Clay E. Kerley and Lavena Blaylock.

He was assigned to the 64th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group Heavy, 5th Air Force. Prior to this posting he had served in the 23rd Bombardment Squadron at the Battle of Midway. For this action he was awarded the Silver Star.

He then joined the 64th Bomber Squadron and was involved in the Southwest Pacific Air Offensive against Japan. On the 1st of December 1942 SSgt Kerley was a member of the crew of a B-17E 41-2645 Miss Carriage flying out of Mareeba, Australia. The mission was a reconnaissance mission over Buna and Gasmate, Papua New Guinea. The B-17 failed to return from this mission and extensive searches failed to locate the plane or its crew.

Crew of B-17E 41-2645 Missing in Action
Pilot 1st Lt. Charles N. Crowell, O-411698 MIA KIA IL
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. John W. Bixby, O-790612 MIA KIA NY
Crew 1st Lt. Henry G. Carr, O-724290 MIA KIA OR
Crew MSgt Frank C. French, Jr., 6265699 MIA KIA CO
Crew TSgt William F. Martin, 6151547 MIA KIA MA
Crew Sgt James H. Andrews, 6947160 MIA KIA NC
Crew SSgt Herbert L. Kerley, 6296890 MIA KIA TN
Crew Sgt Glenn H. Davis, 6904085 MIA KIA NY
Crew Cpl Raymond F. Kettner, 6975699 MIA KIA NY

The crew was given a finding of death on the 7th of January 1946, They are Memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, Philippines.

Citation for the Silver Star:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Corporal Herbert L. Kerley ASN 6296890, United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action as a combat crew member of a United States Heavy Bomber in the 23d Bombardment Squadron, 5th Bombardment Group Heavy, 7th Air Force, in the Battle of Midway between 3 and 7 June 1942.

General Orders Headquarters, VII Bomber Command, General Orders No. 62 July 30, 1942

Action Date June 3, 1942

Herbert Kerley was officially declared dead on 7 January 1946 and is memorialized on that Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines.



  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 20 June 1921
  • Date of death: 1 December 1942
  • County: Roane
  • Hometown: Harriman
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 64th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Midway
  • Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XVII, Top Panel
  • Sponsored by: John B. Romeiser

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