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Scherff, Raymond G

Raymond Scherff U.S. Army Air Corps WWII
Raymond Scherff U.S. Army Air Corps WWII

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Date of Birth: 8/23/1916
Died On: 3/1/1943
Street Address: Midland Avenue
Service Number: 0-430623
Branch of Service: U.S. Army Air Corps - 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Group, 10th Air Force

Veteran Code: KIA-32

BIOGRAPHY Extended Information
Raymond G. Scherff

Raymond G. Scherff was born Aug. 23, 1916 and was the only child of Bessie and George Henry Scherff. Mr. Scherff was a Consolidated-Edison inventory engineer. They lived for many years at 477 Midland Avenue.

Many Rye residents remembered Raymond as the friendly lifeguard at Playland when home from college during the summers. He graduated from Clarkson College, Potsdam, N. Y. in 1939 with a chemical engineering degree. Raymond served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Raymond G. Scherff enlisted in the Air Corps early in 1940. Soon after his graduation at Shreveport Field, Louisiana, was assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 9th Bomb Group and left for Australia. At that time members of the 9th Bomb Group joined with the 29th Bomb Group as gunners and pilots on A-24s. Shortly after this merger, they were sent on secret orders to assist the 19th Bomb Group in the defense of Java. They played a great part in repulsing the enemy, allowing enough time to permit the evacuation of U. S. personnel from Java.

They returned to Australia in February and the Group prepared to move to a new secret station, arriving in Karachi, India, on March 12, 1942. On June 29th, Lieut. Raymond Scherff and combat crews and ground men from the 9th Bomb Squadron departed from India for the Middle East for duty in that theater, to repulse the Nazis then attempting an offensive against the new invasion forces of the U. S.

There he took part in the push on the Rommel forces. He was flight leader and the pilot of a Flying Fortress which was named "The Miraculous", after his Scotty, the groups mascot which always flew with Lieut. Scherff, even in combat.

Returning to India from the Mediterranean sector, he was made the engineering officer of a squadron. His duties included testing all new ships as well as those which had been repaired after battle.

On April 3, 1942 he was the co-pilot on B-17E #41-2491 that took part in a bombing mission against Rangoon. On the way back they had navigation problems and ran low on fuel so the pilot ordered the rest of the crew to bail out while he and the Scherff managed to make a belly landing on a beach east of Calcutta. After repairs the plane was able to be flown off the beach. The entire crew returned to base safely.

It seemed that Lieut. Scherff bore a charmed life until fate ruled he should be killed in an accident. He had been shot down a number of times and once he broke both his back and neck. He had been cited eight times for distinguished service. Lieut. Scherff had flown 180,000 miles and fought over Burma and North Africa.

On Mar. 1, 1943 his fatal crackup occurred, not dramatically in combat, but while him and a member of his crew were flying in a small training plane to make arrangements for a leave in the States. He was buried in a British military cemetery in Calcutta with full honors.

First Lieut. Raymond Scherff was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal posthumously. His parents were by then living in Flushing, L. I. and adopted a small daughter after Raymond died.

Raymond's remains were eventually returned to the U.S. in 1948 and he is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley N.Y..

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